Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News
Three Cockrell Hill police officers who were in the right place at the right time are credited with saving a man from a fire at the Shiloh Apartment early Friday morning.
One man is in the hospital after a fire blazed through an apartment complex in Cockrell Hill on Friday morning.
Police said all residents in the Shiloh Apartments on Phinney Avenue were asleep when flames ripped through the complex.
Cockrell Hill police officers Merced Carrillo, Betsy White and Mike Sutton were transferring prisoners at the jailhouse across the street.
Carrillo and his colleagues smelled the smoke and went to the complex to investigate.
Police noticed the fire burning in the back of the building and on the roof and immediately woke up everyone inside.
"We had flames out of the back side of the building between the first and second apartment that were coming up through the roof," Fire Chief Michael Burns said.
With no special gear on their backs they broke down a door, inside they found a woman and a man who was unconscious.
"You can't breathe," White said. "You're just trying to make your way through get to as many people as you can."
Fire officials told NBC 5 that the fire started in one apartment and spread to two others.
Police and fire officials said the man is lucky to be alive. He was taken to Parkland Hospital with smoke inhalation and burn injuries.
"We could have had fatalities; but we were real lucky," Burns said.
But if you want to call this trio of officers heroes, don't. The officers said that what they did Friday morning was all in a day's work.
"Protect people's lives if that's what we have to do," Carrillo said.
Firefighters said two apartments were gutted and one was severely damaged.
The American Red Cross is helping families with places to stay.
Officials are still trying to determine where and how the fire started.
NBC 5's Keaton Fox and Ben Russell contributed to this report.