Firefighters from Biddeford and surrounding communities fought a blaze in a four unit apartment building on Cleaves Street Tuesday afternoon. Fire officials say four families were displaced. There were no injuries Photo courtesy Biddeford Fire Department

BIDDEFORD — Four families have been displaced after a fire damaged a four-unit apartment building at 152 Cleaves St. in Biddeford on Tuesday afternoon.

Neither the occupants or firefighters were injured, fire officials said.

Biddeford Assistant Fire Chief Paul LaBrecque said the fire was determined to be accidental, and traced it to the first-floor apartment, where food being cooked on the stove was left unattended.

Firefighters were called to the four-story structure at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, he said, and the fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes, but firefighters remained on the scene until about 6:30 p.m. to make sure there were no extensions into other parts of the building and to conduct the investigation.

Mutual aid companies from Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, Arundel and the Goodwin’s Mills Fire Department assisted Biddeford firefighters fight the blaze.

The fire was reported by an occupant of the second floor, who told fire officials there was a smell of smoke and then her smoke detectors sounded.

When firefighters arrived, the fire had extended to the exterior of the building and up to the roofline, LaBrecque said.

Two cats and a dog perished.

The first floor was heavily damaged, LaBrecque said, while the second, third and fourth floor units had smoke, heat and water damage.

The occupants are temporarily housed in a hotel, he said.

Biddeford property records show the building, constructed in 1900, is owned by AKJ Properties II LLC of Scarborough.

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