Firefighters rescued 19 people, mostly children, from a burning building in the city of Beit Shemesh early Thursday morning, with two hospitalized in serious condition.

The fire broke out on the bottom floor off a building on Hazon Ish Street, with smoke rising up to the other floors.

The worst injuries were suffered in one apartment, with a 6-year-old and 7-year-old listed in serious condition. They were sedated and connected to respirators, according to Magen David Adom emergency first responders.

Seventeen others, including 12 children, suffered light injuries and smoke inhalation, and were divided between Assaf Harofeh hospital in central Israel and Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

According to reports, residents of the building smelled smoke and immediately gathered their children in the fresh air on their outdoor porch, where they were rescued.

The fire broke out on the bottom floor off a building on Hazon Ish Street, with smoke rising up to the other floors.