Around 25 firefighters braved “challenging” conditions to rescue all of the 15 residents and contain the fire in Lendel Place, Glasgow, at around 4:10am yesterday, Scottish Fire and Rescue said.
Eight residents were taken to hospital suffering from varying levels of smoke inhalation and a further ten residents were taken by Police Scotland to a local authority rest centre until the property was deemed safe to return to.
Medical staff described the condition of two people, a 42-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman as critical. Six other people remained in hospital in a stable condition.
Six fire engines were sent from Govan, Polmadie, Maryhill and Knightswood community fire stations.
Several residents were rescued from the property by firefighters using ladders.
Paisley Road West was closed throughout the multi-agency operation between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland.
SFRS group manager Brian Winter, the incidents commander, said “The fire crews were met with a well-developed fire in a basement, which made conditions very challenging for them.
“Given the severity of this fire and the complications it presented, the quick actions of the crews in carrying out these rescues ensured that casualty numbers were kept to a minimum and the fire damage to the building itself was mainly restricted to the basement property.”
The residents were taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Glasgow City Council facilitated a temporary rest centre within Ibrox Library which was closed when alternative accommodation was facilitated for displaced residents.
Paisley Road West was reopened at around 9:40am.
The cause of the fire remains unknown and a joint investigation between SFRS and Police Scotland continues.