A fire in Victoria Thursday morning has sent eight people to hospital and forced the evacuation of one of the city's largest apartment buildings.

The fire broke out on the ninth floor of the View Towers building at 1147 Quadra St around 7 a.m. PT. 

Several police officers on the scene saw the danger to residents and quickly entered the building to help them out, according to a statement issued by the Victoria Police Department.

"Officers remained in the building, working to evacuate residents until the heat and smoke became too thick and they themselves had to evacuate," said the statement.

"Four officers and one resident were taken to hospital by ambulance, three more were treated later. All the officers were treated for smoke inhalation and released."

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Police say the area will be closed to traffic for several hours.

Google maps: View Towers, 1147 Quadra Street