Firefighter, two others injured in Saturday morning fire

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Residents had to be rescued from the second story of a burning building in an early Saturday morning fire that sent three people to the hospital, including a firefighter who fell through the floor of the building.

The call went out to a building converted to apartments at 1600 block of Story Avenue around 2:20 Saturday morning.

Once firefighters arrived, they immediately called for extra crews.

"Civilians were hanging out the second floor window on the front side of the building.  they used a ladder to do a rescue of those two occupants and were then informed there were additional occupants in the building still," said Louisville Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Frederick.

The third person had to be rescued, but the intensity doesn't end there.

"This was a challenging fire for us," Chief Frederick said.

The root of the problem stems from the fact that the only way to get up to the second floor units was to use the building's only stair case -- and that's where the fire was concentrated, meaning no one had a way out.

"As firefighters started up that stairwell with a hose line, two fire fighters fell through that to the ground both were injured," the Chief told WAVE 3 News.

One of those firefighters had to be rushed to the hospital, after that dramatic fall in this burning building.

With no stair case, firefighters then had to mount their ladders to side of the building to get in, where their work had just begun.

"It continued with a search and rescue operation on the entire second floor, using thermal cameras and multiple firefighters to make sure we didn't have any other occupants," Chief Frederick explained.

In addition to the firefighter, two people rescued from the building had to be taken to the hospital, including a little girl.

Chief Frederick says the firefighter suffered non-life threatening injuries despite falling through a burning stairwell.

The condition of the other two are unknown.  It could take several weeks for a cause to be determined.

Copyright 2011 WAVE 3 News.  All rights reserved.