JANESVILLE, Wis. -

Eight people were rescued from balconies during an apartment fire in Janesville early Thursday morning, according to the Janesville Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to a 12-unit apartment at 2621 Harvard Dr. at 2:21 a.m. for a report of a fire. Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from one of the apartments when they arrived, and there were upper apartment occupants on balconies trying to escape the fire.

Eight people were rescued by firefighters, and seven people were sent to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters said the fire started in the basement of the apartment and was contained to the basement. A broken water line slowed the fire’s spread, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Janesville Fire Department and Janesville Police Department.

Damage to the building is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

The Red Cross was called to assist six families, including 11 adults and five children.

2621 Harvard Dr