Improperly discarded smoking material is blamed for a fire that damaged the exterior of a condo building in Bel Air late Monday night, according to fire investigators.

The fire in the 1300 block of Scottsdale Drive did an estimated $25,000 damage to the exterior of the building, according a notice of investigation from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

The fire on the balcony of the four-story building was discovered by a neighbor shortly after 11:45 p.m., according to the state fire marshal's office, which said it took 20 firefighters about five minutes to bring the fire under control.

The preliminary finding of cause states the fire was "accidental," caused by "improperly discarded cigarette/ashes."

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The notice of investigation also notes that smoke alarms were present but did not activate because of the fire "originating and being contained on the outside of the building."