THE BRONX - Residents at 1314 Grand Concorse were jolted out of bed early Monday morning by a fire that engulfed the first three floors of their apartment building.
No one was injured and most residents were allowed to return to their homes by 8 a.m. Many of them were relieved to see their belongings still intact.
According to fire officials, the blaze started in a vacant apartment on the first floor that was under construction. The flames quickly spread to the second and third floors.
One resident, Deidre Frazier, was hailed as a hero by her neighbors for helping evacuate the building. Frazier smelled the smoke, called 911 and alerted her neighbors before getting out.
"I went outside to ring intercoms because it was too smoky to knock on doors on all the floors," Frazier recalled.
The blaze was ruled suspicious by investigators. Fire marshals will have to determine how the blaze broke out in an empty apartment with no occupants.