02/17/2013 03:58 EST | Updated 04/19/2013 05:12 EDT

People rescued but apartment building destroyed in massive fire overnight

BURNABY, B.C. - A three-alarm blaze has destroyed 138 homes in an apartment building in Burnaby, B.C.

Firefighters raced to make rescues of screaming residents while knocking down the fire that engulfed the building overnight.

At some points, people were hanging out of windows hollering for help until ladders were used to evacuate them and their pets.

Assistant Fire Chief Ken Moore says crews arrived to see flames shooting out of all sides of the building (on Smith Ave. near Canada Way.)

Authorities say the building is a write-off and people have lost all their belongings, while early on they believe the fire began in the basement.

Some people and animals were treated for smoke inhalation. (News 1130)