Crews in West Lothian had to break into the adjacent property in the early hours to rescue the trio, which included the children aged four and two.
Six men from the flat on fire and another property managed to get themselves out of the block.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said they were called to the scene in New Well Wynd, Linlithgow, at about 1.10am today.
The flat in question was well ablaze when they got there and it was “extensively damaged” by the flames. The cause of the fire is now being investigated.
A service spokeswoman said: “Fire crews from Linlithgow and Bo’ness attended a flat which was well alight on arrival. We used breathing apparatus, a hosereel and a main jet to extinguish the fire .
“There were four males in that flat who had already self-rescued before we arrived. They were checked over by the ambulance and they had slight smoke inhalation. They didn’t require hospital treatment.
“We had to break into an adjacent flat where we rescued an adult male and two young girls who were aged four and two. They all had smoke inhalation. Two males from the flat below had managed to get themselves out and they were okay.
“The flat was extensively damaged in the blaze and the cause of the fire is under investigation.”
The Red Cross also attended the scene and provided refreshments to residents in the area caught up in the incident.