A three-storey apartment building in New Westminster, B.C. has been completely destroyed by fire on Friday morning, but no injuries have been reported in the blaze.

The 31-unit building at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Ash Street first caught fire sometime around 1:30 a.m. PT.

According to unconfirmed reports some people walking past spotted the flames after the fire broke out in a second-storey suite located above the lobby, and alerted the residents inside.

Some residents said they expected firefighters would quickly put out the small blaze, but the older wood-frame building was not equipped with sprinklers and the fire quickly spread throughout the building.

Residents told CBC News the fire alarms in the building did go off.

Firefighters from Delta and Burnaby were called in to help New Westminster firefighters fight the blaze, but by 5:30 a.m. much of the building was collapsing as flames consumed the structure.

Residents of neighbouring buildings were evacuated, but firefighters managed to stop the flames from spreading to other structures, and by 6:30 a.m. firefighters appeared to have the flames under control.

Traffic has been shut down for several blocks in the area and is expected to remain closed for much of the day.

Google Map: 4th Ave and Ash St, New Westminster



YouTube: Huge apartment fire in New Westminster

With files from the CBC's Steve Lus and Richard Zussman