Four police officers are recovering from smoke inhalation, after rescuing four people and two dogs trapped inside a burning home in East Vancouver Wednesday afternoon.

The two alarm blaze broke out around 2 p.m. PT in a second-floor apartment above the shops on the 1200 block of Kingsway Avenue near Knight Street. 

According to Const. Brian Montague, the four patrol officers saw the smoke and rushed to help those trapped inside.

"Police entered the building and could hear the screams of residents inside unable to find their way out through the thick smoke," said Montague.

"Officers tried to fight the fire with extinguishers, crawled along the floor with flashlights and made voice contact with the trapped residents directing them towards safety."

As the police worked to try to help the residents, the ceiling started to collapse and falling debris hit one of the police officers on the head.

The residents and their dogs were all successfully rescued and were unharmed, says Montague.

The police officers were sent to hospital, suffering minor injuries and smoke inhalation, but have now been discharged and will be recovering at home.

Fire officials aren't yet sure what caused the fire. Traffic in the area was shut down for much of the afternoon.

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