Two women died late last night after being pulled from an apartment fire in upper Northwest Washington, authorities said.

The fire broke out just before 10:30 p.m. in a unit of an apartment building at 6921 Georgia Ave., across the street from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said Alan Etter, a D.C. fire department spokesman. The blaze apparently started in the living room, but its cause was not immediately known.

Firefighters found the women unconscious and in cardiac arrest in a bathroom of a first-floor apartment, Etter said. Rescue workers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation before transporting them to hospitals.

The women appeared to be in their 30s, but they had not been identified by early today. It was not clear whether anyone else had been in the apartment.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze a few minutes after they arrived, Etter said. The fire, which was contained to one apartment, sent heavy smoke throughout the three-story building. Six people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Authorities were investigating claims by residents that the fire alarm did not sound inside the building, Etter said. Police officer Kimberly D. Kniffen, who arrived early at the scene, knocked on doors and helped people leave the building, police said.

One firefighter injured his back and was taken to a hospital. Fire and police investigators were on the scene early today.