The brick apartment building at 451 37th Street was discovered burning just before 4 a.m.
The building is directly across the alley from the Bauknecht-Altmyer Funeral Home.
The funeral director, on his way to work at 3:42 a.m., saw the orange glow and called 911, saying it appeared to be a fire.
Moments later as firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from windows on two sides of the structure.
"We had a fully involved apartment building that was called in with four people trapped inside," said Neffs Fire Chief John Driscoll. "Upon our arrival, the whole second floor was fully involved and the Bellaire Police had rescued a man out of it. They're absolutely heroes. They went in and they got this guy out and they evacuated two older ladies who were downstairs asleep in other apartments. Officers Shallcross and Yates absolutely went above and beyond the call of duty."
Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk also commends Lt. Bill Shallcross and Officer Kevin Yates.
Fire Chief John Driscoll says the man who was trapped upstairs is recovering at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Driscoll says he believes this was an accidental fire, and said he called the Ohio Fire Marshal's office in to determine the exact cause.