Five people were rescued and eight people treated by paramedics after a fire at a low-rise apartment building on Carling Avenue on Friday morning.

The fire broke out at 1889 Carling Ave., near Maitland Avenue, at about 6:45 a.m. Friday.

Two bystanders managed to pull one woman out of a smoke-filled basement unit.

Nicholas Purves lives next door and said he ran over when he saw smoke and heard another man named Chris yelling for help.

"He said there was still somebody in the apartment so we both ran down and started yelling. He ran to ring all the doorbells to try to make sure everybody was out safely," Purves said.

"Finally the woman came to the door, I grabbed her, Chris came down seconds after that and we both pulled her out. He flipped her over, made sure she was breathing and then we pulled her out and laid her on the grass when the paramedics and the firefighters showed up.

"We couldn't [have done] it without each other."

The 51-year-old woman was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns, according to paramedics. 

There was concern her roommate was still in the apartment but he said he was across the street having a coffee when the fire broke out.

Ladders used to get family out

Another four people and their dog were rescued from a higher floor window with ladders put in place by firefighters.

"Our crews were able to contain the fire to one unit in the basement, however there was smoke damage to the rest of the apartment building itself," Ottawa Fire Services spokesperson Bob Rainboth.

"This caused us to require the rescue of a family of 4 and a dog from the third level, we can report they're out safe and sound, we had them checked out and they're all OK at this time.

"There was concern about bringing them down through the main hallways due to the amount of smoke in the building so we were able to put ladders up on the backside of the building and bring them down by ladder."

Paramedics said they treated eight people in total at the scene and took four of them to hospital, including the woman who was pulled from her apartment.

A 32-year-old woman suffered minor injuries while climbing down a ladder, an eight-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy breathed in some smoke and carbon monoxide.

They were all in stable condition when they arrived at hospital.

The cause is under investigation.