The blaze was reported shortly after 10:00 p.m. inside the Canby Park Apartments complex, located along the 500 block of Homestead Road in Canby Park, just outside the Wilmington city limits.
Responding firefighters arrived at Building V to find smoke pouring from the three-story building.
Investigators say the fire originated inside a second floor bedroom when an electrical power cord to an appliance malfunctioned, igniting nearby combustibles.
The bulk of the fire was contained to the apartment where the blaze initiated. However, smoke filled the building.
Fire damage is estimated at $50,000. Residents in three units will be relocated within the complex due to the condition of their apartments.
There were no reported injuries.