Fire engines were called to a block of flats on Longley Hall Road in Sheffield just before 7pm on Tuesday evening.
Three fire crews from Elm Lane, Rivelin and Central stations attended. The fire was in a communal stairway with a number of residents trapped on the top floor.
Firefighters put ladders up to the third floor window to create an escape route if needed. Fortunately fire crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly and then led the five residents safely down the stairs.
Luckily no one was injured in the incident.
The fire crews left the scene just after 8pm.
The fire is believed to have been started deliberately.
Head of Emergency Response Tony Carlin said; “This was a very dangerous and life-threatening situation, our crews dealt with it in a very professional manner ensuring all residents from the affected flats were rescued quickly and safely.
“We treat all acts of arson extremely seriously and are working closely with South Yorkshire Police to identify those responsible and to prevent further instances occurring.
“If residents have any information about people starting fires in their area, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”