THE BRONX - More than 100 firefighters struggled to extinguish the flames that engulfed a three-family home on Eagle Avenue Saturday afternoon.

Fire officials say the blaze began inside an air shaft between the two homes at 662 Eagle Avenue in Melrose. Officials say tenants nearly resorted to desperate measure to escape the fire.

?They had tied up what we think ? were bed sheets on to the guard of the window and they were going to jump out of the windows,? says Deputy FDNY Chief Falotico. ?But a firefighter put up a 35-foot ladder and got the two people out the window.?

Andilino Rivera, who owns the home, says he just spent about $15,000 on renovations that have been utterly destroyed.

Fire officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation. All of the tenants made it out of the building alive, though two people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Red Cross workers were on the scene to help residents displaced by the fire find temporary housing.