Residents rescued from 3-alarm apartment fire in North York

WATCH: Investigators are looking into why smoke filled every floor of the building, and now three people are in hospital fighting for their lives. Lama Nicolas reports.

TORONTO – Emergency crews managed to rescue several residents from a three-alarm apartment fire in North York overnight.

The fire began around 11:40 p.m. in a second floor unit at 2850 Jane St. near Finch Avenue W. in the city’s west-end.

Crews arrived to find several people seen hanging over balconies due to the heavy smoke from the building.

“We had a lot of people screaming in the hallways,” said Danny MacIsaac, division commander from York Fire Department.

Firefighters used ladders to help residents get to the ground, while three more people were found in a stairwell.

Officials say several individuals were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

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It took more than 60 firefighters to bring the fire under control.

“It looks like some of the people were confused as to what to do,” said Ontario Fire Marshal investigator Jeff Tebby. “So certainly we would like the public to know what to do in the event of a fire.”

There are reports a candle might have sparked the blaze.

“It will be part of the investigation once we get into the actual unit of origin and are able to examine it.”

WATCH: Raw video from the scene of a 3-alarm fire in North York

A man, woman and a boy were in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being pulled unconscious from the building.

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Doors left open between the hallways and stairwells allowed smoke to travel throughout the building.

Officals said part of the investigation into the fire will be looking at how the building was equipped to handle such an emergency, and how to better educate residents.

‘We’re looking at origin and cause of the fire itself, building performance, alarm systems, human activity or behaviour that may have contributed to the fire or fire spread,” said Tebby.

Shelter buses were also called to the scene for residents who were asked to leave their apartment units.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

With files from Lama Nicolas.