The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday. Firefighters were called to the scene at around 40 minutes past midnight, but by 4am the building's roof was completely consumed by the flames.
It was too early to say how the fire broke out, fire chiefs said, but it was believed to have started in the attic.
There were no reports of injuries, but the material damage to the four-storey building was expected to be significant.
“There's a risk of total damage,” regional duty fire chief Christer Ängehov told the TT newswire.
Smoke was still rising from the building on Friday morning. Photo: Kip Haynes
Units from several parts of southern Sweden were dispatched to help fight the inferno. Residents in the building's 30-40 apartments spent the night in a school nearby, organized by Malmö City Council.
Fire chiefs urged people to stay away from the area of Maribogatan/Västra Rönneholmsvägen during the day to help clear the way for fire crews still working at the scene.