Just as it seemed like the first half of the game at Gayfield Park would finish goalless, a Paul McManus strike in injury time saw the relegation-threatened home side go a goal up at the break.
Immediately after the restart, Alan Cook scored a brace in the space of three minutes to leave Stranraer three goals down with 40 minutes to play.
East Fife, meanwhile, dramatically lost 2-1 against Stenhousemuir after conceding a last-minute penalty, despite taking the lead through Stephen Hughes in the 44th minute following a pinpoint cross from Kevin Smith.
The Warriors equalised midway through the second half through Sean Dickson, and just as it seemed that the game would finish level, Josh Watt was felled by Liam Buchanan in the penalty area right at the death.
Sean Higgins made no mistake from the spot to secure the victory, much to the chagrin of the home side, who are now just two points ahead of bottom-placed Arbroath.
Meanwhile, Brechin City and Airdrieonians played out a 1-1 draw, with James Lister netting for the Diamonds midway through the first half, before Craig Molloy levelled for the home side seven minutes after the restart.
Results in full: Arbroath 4-2 Stranraer, Brechin City 1-1 Airdrieonians, Dunfermline Athletic 0-0 Forfar Athletic, East Fife 1-2 Stenhousemuir