By Lusha Zhang and Tony Munroe
BEIJING (Reuters) – Fire tore before sunrise on Saturday through a hotel in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, killing 1
Authorities Investigate the cause of the fire in the four-storey Bailong Hot Springs Leisure Hotel, a low-cost health resort frequented mainly by local tourists and erupting shortly after 4:30 am (4:30 pm ET Friday).
The People's Daily quoted firefighters as saying the fire had started in a second floor kitchen.
Flames swept through an area of about 400 square feet before being cleared after three hours more than 30 firefighters and 100 firefighters hurried, Chinese state media reported.
Firefighters rescued 20 people trapped in the hotel and another 80 were evacuated from the building, the official Xinhua News Agency
TV recordings showed rescue workers picking through the charred building.
Inmates treated in the hospital were between the ages of 40 and 70, according to the newspaper, referring to Harbin First Hospital. Further details about the killed were not available immediately.
An earlier 18 deaths rose at one after a victim died in the hospital, officials said.
Local authorities said a hotel's legal representative was in custody (19659011) China has a sketchy record of safety regulations in construction, and the country's ministry of civil protection said it would provide nationwide fire safety checks in buildings, such as hotels, sauna, Hospitals, schools and shopping centers, CCTV launch reported on Saturday.
The Beijing City Government launched a 40-day "special operation" in which fire codes and building security violations after a domestic fire in the Chinese capital killed 19 people in November.
Harbin, in the extreme northeast of China and home to a large Russian population during the early 20th century, is famous for buildings from this period as well as a popular winter snow and ice festival. 19659014] (edited by Sam Holmes and Helen Popper)