THE BRONX - Fire officials say a two-alarm blaze on Jerome Avenue Thursday afternoon gutted an apartment building and left 10 people homeless.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at about 12:30 p.m. and say it was hard to search the building ? which was later found to be empty - because of the plumes of smoke.

"It's a miracle that there was no one in the building," says Deputy Chief Kevin Scanlon.

Fire officials say they are still probing the cause of the blaze, but some tenants say store-bought heaters that were purchased because the landlord failed to provide heat could be at fault.