A fire broke out Saturday in a building in a northern Paris suburb, killing three women and injuring seven others, including a child who is in critical condition, officials said.

Police said the fire started at 2:00 am (0100 GMT) on the ground floor of a building in Stains, an immigrant-majority town about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Paris.

The three women victims were born in Haiti and included a woman who was a tenant on the third floor, her sister and a friend who had stayed over after a family dinner, according to officials. Firefighters found their bodies overnight.

The critically-injured child with second- and third-degree burns is a six-year-old boy who lived on the first floor with his parents and a two-year-old sister, who were also injured, according to officials.

Twenty-four fire engines and 88 firefighters battled to douse the blaze and one fireman was slightly injured.

The other residents of the building were evacuated and given shelter in a sports hall.

The building was slated for renovations, with its estimated 15 residents due to move to temporary accommodations on Wednesday, according to the mayor, Azzedine Taibi.

"The building wasn't going to collapse, but various works had to be done," said a local councillor.

An enquiry has been launched into the cause of the fire.