02/17/2013 01:41 EST | Updated 02/18/2013 01:51 EST

Burnaby Smith Avenue Apartment Fire Leaves Families Homeless

UPDATE - Feb. 18, 2013: The RCMP have taken over the investigation into the Burnaby fire because it's considered suspicious, CTV reported.

A Burnaby apartment building was levelled after a three-alarm fire left 35 families homeless.

The fire began in the basement of a 138-suite building at Smith Avenue near Canada Way and left flames shooting out from all sides by the time crews arrived, News1130 reported.

Crews had difficulty battling the fire because so many people needed to be saved.

Twitter user @kfile77 published this photo of the fire:

Global News reported that there were "several victims" hanging out of windows with their pets, waiting to be rescued by ladder.

Crews were still battling the blaze Sunday morning and were particularly concerned about a suite that had gun powder and ammunition inside it.

RCMP Cpl. Scott Brusette told CKNW that several people were taken to hospital but he didn't know what their conditions were.

CKNW reporter Jordan Armstrong Tweeted that 35 families have been left homeless.