Three women were hospitalized Wednesday after an early morning fire in Montreal North.

“One of them lived where the fire started and was injured by the smoke,” said fire department spokesperson Christian Legault. “Two others were also injured and lived in another apartment.”

One suffering smoke inhalation, another, chest pains and a third was hospitalized for a blood pressure issue. They were transport by ambulance to Santa Cabrini and Notre Dame hospitals. All are said to be in stable condition.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, a cut on the hand for one and an injury to the elbow for the other. A car was also rescued from the blaze.

The fire was in a three-storey apartment building with 16 units. Over 100 firefighters were on the scene to put out the blaze, which firefighters say started in the basement just after 8 a.m.

Residents were forced out into the cold. When the first firefighters arrived, many residents were still in the building but quickly trying to get out. Some used fire escapes to flee.

“We had many people coming out of the building at first and that's why we went right away to the second alarm,” said Pierre Limoges of the Montreal fire department.

One man who lives on the top floor directly above where the fire began said he had to use pliers to get a jammed back door open.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the left side of the building by running hoses through the walls.