Vancouver fire officials confirm two people were taken to hospital after a fire broke out Tuesday morning in an apartment building in the West End.

One man was unconscious and with burns, while the second person suffered smoke inhalation.

Capt. Jonathan Gormick said the fire was put out, but nearly 40 firefighters were still at the scene on the 1100 block of Pacific Street near Thurlow Street.

The fire broke out at about 5:45 a.m. PT, he said.

"We arrived to find flames showing from the second floor and people trying to extricate themselves from a suite and surrounding suites. Again, there's been heavy smoke and flames and multiple callers to this."

The blaze was immediately flagged as a serious, second alarm fire because of the dense population in the downtown area, he said.

The apartment building is a low rise complex with no sprinklers, said fire officials. Officials said there was smoke, fire and water damage to a number of units.

Dozens of residents were waiting to find out when they will be allowed back into their suites.