A lit cigarette left unattended started a fire that caused more than $200,000 damage to a Bel Air area home Tuesday, fire officials say.

Between 9:20 and 9:40 a.m., a fire started in the home of Arthur Pfeffer in the 300 block of Umbarger Drive in the Fountain Green community, according to deputy state fire marshals.

The fire went to a second alarm and took 60 firefighters from Bel Air, Fallston, Abingdon, Level and Kingsville volunteer fire companies 45 minutes to contain, according to deputy fire marshals. Rich Gardiner, spokesman for Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, said firefighters controlled the blaze within 20 minutes.

The bulk of the fire was inside an attached garage, Gardiner said.


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One resident was inside the home at the time of the fire and sustained minor injuries to his hands, but refused treatment at the scene, Gardiner said Tuesday evening.

The fire caused about $200,000 damage to the two-story home - $150,000 damage to the building and $50,000 to its contents, according to fire officials.

The fire was ruled accidental and investigators believe it started when a cigarette was left unattended in a reclining char in the first floor living area, according to fire officials.