BURNABY (NEWS1130) – People were hanging out the windows — screaming to be saved.

Crews had a tough time fighting a three-alarm fire at a Burnaby apartment building this morning because so many people needed to be rescued.

The building is a complete write-off.

Several people and pets suffered smoke inhalation.

It looks like the fire started in the basement of the building on Smith Avenue near Canada Way.

Assistant Fire Chief Ken Moore says flames were shooting out all sides by the time crews got there.

“We did a rescue on all the floors, tried to get in as many suites as possible. At this point there were some people who were brought down ladders and some animals.”

There were 35 units in the complex.

People have lost everything and will also need to look for a new home.

One person died in a fire four years ago in the same building.