IMAGE: Deadly China blaze
AFP - Getty Images
Firefighters battle a blaze at a 28-story building in the eastern commercial city of Wenzhou, China, on Wednesday.
updated 12/12/2007 5:20:16 AM ET 2007-12-12T10:20:16

A fire tore through an apartment building in eastern China early Wednesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring two others, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Some 213 people were evacuated and rescued after the blaze broke out around 8:20 a.m. in the Wenfu Mansion in Wenzhou, a city in Zhejiang province, Xinhua said, citing fire officials.

A fire department official telephoned Wednesday said the flames had been extinguished and no residents were left in the building. He would give only his family name, Zhang.

Twelve men and nine women died from burns and smoke inhalation, Xinhua said.

Witnesses said the fire broke out in a flower shop on the first floor and spread to a recreational center on the second story, according to Xinhua. The cause was under investigation, it said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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