Officer Timothy Hathaway was the first on scene Friday when flames broke out at the Mission Valley Apartments on Centennial Parkway.
Hathaway said Friday was the most memorable evening of his three year career on the force.
"I heard the radio go out, but I didn't know I was going to be the first one on scene," Hathaway said.
Firefighters were on their way, but Friday's icy conditions created a slower-than-usual response time for crews.
Hathaway said when he arrived there was lots of smoke coming from the building, but he reacted immediately and went inside.
"Got my mask, came in right through that entrance," Hathaway said.
He started knocking on doors telling everyone to get out.
"If no one came to the door, forced entry in," Hathaway said.
Minutes later when firefighters arrived, he stayed inside the apartments to help.
"The fire department helped me out, getting everybody down the hallway and down the backside because the fire was coming," he said.
When we came out of the building, he and several others were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
"I had soot and smoke and all that nasty stuff around my face. They took me to the hospital as more of a precautionary thing," Hathaway said.
Thanks to Hathaway and the firefighters, no one suffered life-threatening injuries.
"I came out here, there was obviously a problem, like I said, I don't know how far the fire department was behind me, the real heroes who do that every day, so I just figured there was a job needed to be done," Hathaway said.
Hathaway told ABC11 that when his wife watched the story on the news, she told him she hopes he doesn't make a habit of rushing into burning buildings.