The blaze broke out in a high-rise building in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, which authorities blamed on "electric welding in which workers violated safety measures".

The fire started on the 15th floor of a high-rise residential building and spread to higher floors.
The fire started on the 15th floor of a high-rise residential building and spread to higher floors. (AP / AP)

At least 10 people have been killed and nine injured when a fire broke out in a residential building in northwest China, state-run CCTV reported saying an electric socket extension was the cause.

The fire broke out on Thursday night in the regional Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, where temperatures have dropped to below freezing after dark.

It started on the 15th floor of a high-rise building then spread to higher floors, CCTV said. It took around three hours to extinguish. 

Teams of firefighters evacuated the building and local authorities have begun an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

Authorities blamed "electric welding in which workers violated safety measures".

China's vast Xinjiang region has been under sweeping Covid-19 prevention measures, though CCTV said the apartment building was in a compound categorised as low-risk, a term used for areas without Covid-19 cases.

READ MORE: Fire kills dozens in workshop in central China

Two deadly fires in a week

This is the second fire in China in the past few days. 

A factory fire killed at least 38 this week, at an industrial trading company in the central Chinese city of Anyang, caused by welding sparks that ignited cotton cloth.

Four people have been detained over the Anyang fire and local authorities ordered sweeping safety inspections to root out potential dangers.

Deadly fires are common in China, due to weak safety standards and corruption among officials tasked with enforcing them.

READ MORE: Fire at martial arts school in central China claims more than a dozen lives

Source: TRTWorld and agencies