"It was burning so intensely that we had to fight it from the exterior and that's how we approached it initially. And then they were able to make an interior attack once they got it knocked down just a little bit," said Chief Benny Fulkerson with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Amazingly, there were only a couple of minor injuries.
An elderly woman who lives in a condo below the ones that caught fire had to be treated for burns to her feet after stepping on some burning debris that fell from above.
"She was elderly and the fire was getting too close where they had no choice but to grab her and drag her," said Marsha Lay, who lives at the condos.
And many of the residents were saying one man in particular was a hero, after kicking in doors and getting people out of the building.
"He was kicking down the doors and making people get out. He went back in to make sure animals were out, everything. The man put his life in jeopardy and those people owe him their life," said Lay.
Tyler Maness had just finished his workout nearby at Gold's Gym when he saw the huge plume of smoke.
He went straight to it.
"Hero, not at all, I don't like that word," said Maness. "It was very scary. You know you don't know what to do. All you hear is people screaming there's people inside and there's dogs inside and you're just trying to get everything out as quickly as you can."
Maness saved three people and three dogs.
"I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do anything. I mean it's other people's lives at stake, you know," said Maness.
Maness says this is actually the third time in a year and a half that he's rescued people from a burning building.
He had to be treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but is expected to be just fine.
See photos of amazing animal rescues:
Animals being rescued by firefighters
Man deemed 'hero' after he rescues people, animals from burning condo
UNITED STATES - JUNE 20: Firefighter Peter Laplace has his hands full with four pit bull puppies rescued from a three-alarm fire that struck two apartment buildings on Webster Ave. in the Bronx. One man died, two women were injured and 10 firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze, which was of undetermined origen., (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
GAZIANTEP, TURKEY - AUGUST 5: A fireman rescues a kitten from the 15 meter depth hole in Gaziantep, southeast region of Turkey on August 5, 2014. (Photo by Kaan Bozdogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HENAN, CHINA - JULY 11: (CHINA MAINLAND OUT) Firefighters are seen rescuing a sheepherder and his 80 sheeps from a mud flat in Luoyang, Henan on July 11, 2012 in China. A heavy rainstorm trapped the sheepherder and sheeps in mudand the rescue took 4 hours. (Photo by TPG/Getty Images)
DUJIANGYAN, CHINA - JULY 16: (CHINA OUT) Firemen try to rescue an anaesthetized wild giant panda in a tree near a residential area on July 16, 2005 in Dujiangyan of Sichuan Province, southwest China. The female giant panda is about ten years old, it was found near the downtown residential area and climbed up a tree as people chased after it. Experts from the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center successfully rescued the giant panda during an operation with police and firemen. The panda is in good health and experts are investigating where it is from and why it entered the downtown area. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
LAFAYETTE, UNITED STATES: Fireman rescue a dog that was trapped in high water from Hurricane Lili 03 October 2002 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Thousands of coastal residents remained evacuated as a weaker but still worrisome Hurricane Lili crashed into the US Gulf coast, the first hurricane to make landfall in the United states since Irene in 1999. AFP PHOTO/James NIELSEN (Photo credit should read JAMES NIELSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ritz, the puppy belonging to William Kinsman, was one of the casualities of the two-alarm blaze at 157 W. 74th St. yesterday. Noticing the dog had a broken leg, a fireman wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the street., 1944. New York, United States. (Photo by Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images)