Two people were injured and about eight have been displaced following a massive overnight fire at a multi-unit building in Ottawa’s Beechwood neighbourhood. 

Fire crews responded to the fire at 144 Barrette St. at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Ottawa Fire Services officials say the fire appears to have started in one of the ground level units before spreading up the rear outside wall up to the attic area.

At the time the fire broke out, there were ten people and several pets inside the six-unit building.

"The people were standing in the street, they had their cats in their arms, there was a guy walking around in his PJs, no shoes, no shirt," said neighbour Trevor Kirouac.

Most residents evacuated on their own, but firefighters rescued one woman in her late 40s from the ground floor unit.

She was asleep when the flames broke out.

"The guys went in, they found her, she was still in bed, they managed to ger her out," said Ottawa Fire Services spokesperson Marc Messier.

The woman and her boyfriend were transported to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Neighbour Jamie MacPherson and his girlfriend Michelle Petersen were asleep in the home next door to the burning building.

MacPherson said Petersen heard loud noises outside and knew something was terribly wrong when she saw how unusually bright their bedroom was.

"After she woke me, I ran to the window, opened the blind and all I could see were flames," MacPherson said.  "The glass then cracked from either the heat or the pressure or both. We frantically grabbed our keys, phones, wallets, and then we ran to the front of the house to get the cats and our coats."

Another neighbour, Fady Nayel, lives three doors down from the destroyed building.

He said the sound of the burning roof startled him awake.

" I heard like a funny noise, almost like a rattling noise, because the roof is from tin not from shingles, so you can hear the roof cracking or something," he said.

Fire crews remained on the scene for hours trying to extinguish the roaring flames. Officials say the building has been completely destroyed by the flames, and will likely be demolished.

Damage is estimated at close to $1, 000, 000.  An investigation is ongoing.

With files from CTV's Claudia Cautillo.