NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Investigators say an arsonist set a fire in the lobby of a Bronx building during the overnight hours into Sunday while most residents were sleeping.
But luckily one person was awake, or it could have been worse, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
Shocking surveillance video shows a masked man dousing a Bailey Avenue building entrance with some kind of accelerant, covering the floor and glass walls with it.
Moments later, he sets down a strip of paper and ignites it, sending a massive ball of fire into the air.
“I said something really wrong is happening,” building superintendent Samuel Flores said.
Flores said luckily he was awake around 2:30 a.m. He smelled the smoke and immediately evacuated his family.
“I woke up my family and my wife and I told them, ‘Listen, get ready, we have a fire,'” Flores said.
Flores said the entire entrance was completely engulfed in flames and things could’ve been much worse. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
When asked how bad the fire was, Flores said, “Very big, very bad. I called the fire department right away. They came quickly.”
After the fire was put out, Flores said he noticed a water jug and a charred bundle of paper. He knew something was off, so he checked his surveillance cameras and saw the arsonist in action.
“I saw the man throwing gasoline all over the hallway next to intercom boxes and under the door,” Flores said. “Somebody did it on purpose, but I don’t have any idea why or who. This is nice building, quiet building. People are very nice.”
The NYPD and FDNY are working together on the investigation.