The condition of one of the survivors of last week’s deadly apartment building fire in Biddeford improved over the weekend.

James Ford was unconscious when he was pulled by firefighters from the burning building at 35 Main St. at about 4 a.m. Thursday and was listed in critical condition after his arrival at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The hospital now lists him in serious condition.

Michael Moore, Ford’s roommate, also was pulled unconscious from the finished attic of the building but he died from his injuries on Friday. Six others who were taken by ambulance to Southern Maine Medical Center on Thursday were treated and released that same day.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate the fire, which it determined was intentionally set. The Maine State Police major crimes unit joined the investigation in earnest after Moore’s death, because that made the case a homicide investigation.

They have not yet made an arrest and they have not said whether they have identified a suspect in the case.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office also is investigating a fire that broke out at 8:20 p.m. at 5 Simard Ave., about a half mile from 35 Main St. That fire occurred in a two-unit building. Nobody was injured in that fire. Fire Chief Joseph Warren said Monday that it is not unusual to have the investigators with the Office of the State Fire Marshal probe the cause of an “involved” fire, meaning that it required calling in off-duty firefighters. The Simard Avenue fire was extinguished by 10 p.m.

In addition to searching for a suspect in the Main Street fire, the fire marshal’s investigators also are consulting with the Biddeford code enforcement division.

Investigators found no working smoke detectors in the apartment where Moore and Ford lived, Davis said. The two men were sleeping when the fire broke out, and didn’t wake up even though their apartment had filled with smoke.

Fire officials also said there were no fire escapes leading from the finished attic where both men slept or elsewhere in the rear section, although there were fire escapes in the front section. Firefighters had to help a family living in the other second-floor apartment escape through a second-story window.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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