LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Racing into a burning Old Louisville apartment building, firefighters pulled several people to safety Thursday morning.

But they couldn't reach everyone in time. Two people died in the fire and at least four others were injured.

It happened at an apartment building on Second Street in old Louisville. Now, fire investigators are trying to determine how it started.

The three-story apartment building went up in flames on Thursday morning with several people inside.

"We was sitting down here looking," said a witness. "I was facing up the street, we seen this plume go up. It wasn't 30, 45 seconds...police, fire, everybody was here."

Firefighters arrived on the scene a short time later and immediately went into rescue mode.

"We made it out...thanks to the police and the fire department," said one resident who was rescued.

The fire quickly spread through the entire building causing problems for tenants and firefighters.

"At some point during the fire...we had a collapse up on the third floor," said Chief Gregory Frederick of Louisville Fire and Rescue. "We had a firefighter that was trapped on the...between the second and third floor."

Two people died in the fire and several more had to be rescued -- and it was not easy.

"When you have a building like this that has multiple people and a severe fire burning in it, the rescue process is very challenging," said Frederick.

Rick Hughes is one of the people who was rescued from the burning building. You could say he is laughing to keep from crying.

"I have to make light of this because otherwise I am going to get in this thing and go to the hospital," said Hughes. "It's crazy...this is crazy!"

"It is devastating," he said. "I knew the people that died."

Metro Councilman David James represents the area and says he will make sure the people who lost their homes have a place to stay.

"This is my second time back at the scene," he said. "I wanted to see how things were progressing."

"We're going to make sure that the people that live in this building have the proper resources available to them so that they can move on with their lives and move forward from this point," he added.

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