The State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that the fire that burned a four-story apartment building in Biddeford was intentionally set.

The fire started on a first floor porch on one side of the building, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

 

Investigators had worked with state fire inspectors throughout the day to determine where and how the fire started at 22 Cutts St., a 10-unit apartment building where just four units were inhabited.

“The investigation now obviously focuses on who set the fire and anyone with information is asked to call Biddeford police or the Fire Marshal’s arson hotline,” McCausland said. Biddeford police can be reached at 282-5127. The state’s arson hotline is  888-870-6162.

The building was built in 1900 and is appraised at $370,000, according to city tax records.

3:50 p.m.

State Fire Marshal’s investigators have ordered an excavator to help move the debris of a Biddeford apartment building so they can determine where and how the fire started.

Five investigators have been working at the scene of the fire at 22 Cutts St. all day but have yet to determine a cause or whether it is suspicious, said Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Thomas.

The fire broke out at 10:45 and took fire crews from multiple towns several hours to bring it under control and keep it from spreading to nearby buildings. The building had four of its 10 units occupied and fire displaced 13 people.

8:16 a.m.

State Fire Marshal’s Office investigators have returned to the scene of a fire that destroyed a 10-unit apartment building at 22 Cutts St. last night, displacing 13 people.

Investigators were called in to determine how the fire started and whether it is suspicious.

Biddeford firefighters arrived at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday and found flames from top to bottom in the four-story structure. The fire had burned through the back of the building as well, said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Gagne. After confirming everyone was out, firefighters worked to keep the flames in check so the fire did not spread to nearby buildings.

The closest building was just 10 feet from the fire, he said. No other buildings ignited.

There were fire and smoke alarms in the building, but Gagne did not know if they worked.

Firefighters had the fire under control by 4:30 a.m., he said.