Dierdra Biersay survives three hours in burning Mount Vernon home

Dierdra Biersay, 47, is in critical condition after her home on South First Avenue went up in flames Wednesday night. (1/17/14)

MOUNT VERNON - A Mount Vernon woman managed to survive for three hours while trapped inside her burning home.

Dierdra Biersay, 47, is in critical condition after her home on South First Avenue went up in flames Wednesday night.

The blaze killed Biersay's brother, 51-year-old Frank Goldwire. It also hospitalized another tenant, Medford Hamilton, who is recovering.

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Biersay was found in the basement after the flames were knocked down.

Investigators say the fire started in Biersay's room on the first floor. Officials explain that an electrical power strip overheated, which burned bags of clothing that were sitting on top of it.

Family members are reportedly upset over how long it took for firefighters to rescue the woman. Investigators say the intensity of the fire and conflicting reports about Biersay's whereabouts inside the building delayed rescue efforts.

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