LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two people were rescued from an apartment fire in west Louisville early Tuesday.

The fire started around 7 a.m. at 17th and Broadway. Firefighters arrived at the scene around 7:20 a.m. and used ladders to rescue a man and a woman from the upper floors of the three-story building. 

WDRB's Kara Kirtley was there as one man was loaded onto an ambulance. He appeared to be alert and was wearing an oxygen mask. He and the woman were taken to University Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation. 

We're told there were seven apartment units in the building. At least two people were at work when the fire started, and two others escaped on their own.  

Fire officials tell us one of the tenants on the first floor discovered the fire and alerted others.

"The occupant on the first floor, rear apartment, was awakened to crackling sounds, fire crackling. said Asst. Fire Chief Carroll Haueter with Louisville Fire & Rescue. "He got up and investigated and opened a closet door on the east side of the building and it was full of fire and smoke. So he got up and alerted the rest of the occupants in the building that they needed to get out."

Burnice Todd was thankful that he was awakened by his neighbor and that no one was seriously hurt. 

"When my neighbor knocked on the door, I came out and smoke was shooting up in the sky," Todd said. "And we was trying to get the people out on the second and third floor. And we couldn't get up there because of the smoke." 

Arson investigators were at the scene, but believe the fire was accidental. 

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.