BRIGHTON (CBS) – A four-alarm fire broke out at an elderly housing complex in Brighton Thursday morning and three people had to be rescued on ladder trucks.

The Boston Fire Department said smoke was showing when they arrived at the five-story Patricia White Apartments on Washington Street around 8 a.m.

The fire at the Patricia White Apartments on Washington Street.(Photo credit: Brookline Fire Dept.)

Windows on several floors were shattered by firefighters to vent the smoke and multiple ladder trucks were called in to help rescue residents. About 15 to 20 people in the building were evacuated. Three of them came out windows and onto the ladder trucks. Two women had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation but the injuries were not considered life-threatening. No firefighters were hurt.

“The fire department come and knock on my door, and they say I have to leave the apartment,” said Felix Diaz, who lives in the building. “I smelled a lot of smoke.”

Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said this fire needed a lot of resources. “Evacuation, high-risk population, a number of people on the floors … when people start self-evacuating, you need people up there very quickly because people become overcome by carbon dioxide.”

A rescue at the Patricia White Apartments on Washington Street.(Photo credit: Boston Fire Dept.)

Sources told WBZ’s I-Team the fire was caused by the careless disposal of smoking materials. It is believed to have started in the bedroom of a second-floor apartment. Finn said there is significant smoke damage to the building.

The fire was out shortly after 9 a.m.

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