Residents of a Niagara Street apartment safely fled their burning home early Friday morning thanks to a neighbor who pounded on their door.
If not for the neighbor, Nelson Arroyo said he might be dead.
Buffalo firefighters were called shortly after 6 a.m. to what became a three-alarm blaze at 863 Niagara St., between Rhode Island Street and Massachusetts Avenue.
That section of Niagara Street was closed to traffic.
The blaze is believed to have started in the attic at 863 Niagara, which sustained heavy damage, the Fire Department said.
Nelson Arroyo and his son, Nelson Arroyo Jr., live on first floor of the home where the fire started. The son’s girlfriend also lives there.
The residents were sleeping when the fire started.
The second-floor tenant recently moved out, they said.
Both Arroyos said they were awakened by a man pounding on their door.
The fire spread to two adjoining structures, including a three-story building at 859 Niagara where a pizzeria is located on the first floor.
The buildings sit only several feet apart on that stretch of Niagara Street.
Fidel Mo, who lives down the street from where the fire broke out, said his brother, brother’s wife and their 2-year-old daughter live in one of the four units above Pizza Town.
They and the other families who lived in the building made it out safely.
Three people live at 856 Niagara, which also sustained exposure damage.
A woman who said she lives on the first floor of the home said firefighters knocked on her door, awakening her.
Emergency responders carried at least two children to safety.