Two people have been taken to hospital following a fire at an apartment building in the city’s St. James Town neighbourhood.

The blaze broke out on the ninth floor of a Toronto Community Housing building on Wellesley Street East, near Bleecker Street, at around 8:40 a.m.

Although the fire was knocked down shortly after crews arrived on scene, heavy black smoke was reported throughout the building.

Paramedics say seven people were assessed at the scene and two women, who live above the unit where the fire started, were transported to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

One of the hospitalized tenants is listed in serious condition, paramedics confirmed.

Most tenants were advised to shelter in place and some were told to stay on their balconies due to the smoke.

About 30 tenants were evacuated from the building and crews say it will be some time before tenants on the ninth floor can return to their units.

TTC buses are providing shelter to those who have been evacuated.

The incident has been upgraded to a four-alarm fire to allow crews to get to each unit to inform tenants about smoke migration.

A ventilation fan has been set up to help reduce the smoke in the building.

The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation.