Police say they suspect arson is behind a fire at an East Vancouver seniors home, which temporarily displaced residents early Sunday.

The flames broke out at the Villa Carital facility on Penticton Street just before 4 a.m. PT. Nineteen ambulances arrived at the scene.

Police say the fire started in a building adjacent to the seniors home, in a kitchen area that may be used by the residents of Villa Carital for other purposes. 

Sgt. Randy Fincham said Monday that police don't have a motive.

"There doesn't appear to be any threats, any information to suggest why someone would have started a fire and displaced this many people and potentially could have injured or killed someone in this facility," Fincham said.

About 30 seniors were moved out while fire crews battled the blaze for about two hours. The residents were loaded onto buses to stay warm.

Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC

Resident Peter Girardi said he was woken up and rushed out of the Villa Carital facility after the fire broke out early Sunday.

Resident Peter Girardi says he was awakened by a loud banging on his door. and was told to leave his home immediately.

"Leaving everything behind is not a good feeling, but I had to go because they keep saying 'Get out, get out, get out.' " Girardi said.

Three residents were taken to hospital.

Police said the fire damaged the roof of the facility but there was no damage to the rooms. Crews worked yesterday to repair the water damage and get things back to normal.