The blaze started on the upper floors of the tower on the southern outskirts of the capital of the Lombardy region.
The flames then spread to the lower levels causing thick smoke, the fire services said on a Twitter account.
Dramatic helicopter footage showing the extent of the blaze was also published on the national fire service’s Twitter account.
#Milano #incendio grattacielo: fiamme sotto controllo, le nostre squadre stanno avanzando dall’interno verso i piani superiori dell’edificio. Sono 15 i mezzi impiegati, oltre 50 i #vigilidelfuoco. Immagini della ricognizione aerea dall’elicottero. [#29agosto 20:00] pic.twitter.com/dKtm1eznUi
— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) August 29, 2021
Dozens of ambulances and fire engines attended the scene. Approximately 20 residents were reported to have suffered mild smoke inhalation.
As of Monday morning, firefighters were still working to extinguish the flames, reports Italy’s national news agency Ansa.
The 30 residents who were inside the building when the fire started have all been safely evacuated, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“We are finding hotel rooms but it is clear that these people have lost everything,” Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala told Rai News on Sunday evening.
“The magistrate is here and it will be important to immediately establish responsibility”.
The building is now at risk of collapse, said Corriere della Sera, and an investigation for culpable disaster has been opened to determine responsibility.