The cause of the 4:30 a.m. (2030 GMT Tuesday) fire at the Lantian Foot Massage Parlor was still under investigation, said a man at the Chengde county fire department in Hebei province, who refused to give his name. Two were injured, he said.
Footage aired on Hebei province television showed what seemed to be a small shop, burned almost completely black.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency had reported earlier that the fire was at karaoke hall, the Gedu Love Song Hall. But a telephone operator said there was only one karaoke hall in Chengde county, and that it was called the Huadu Love Song Hall.
A woman who answered the phone at the Huadu Love Song Hall said there had been no fire at her business, and a woman could be heard singing in the background.
China often has fires and other deadly accidents in public places from shopping malls to hospitals, despite repeated safety crackdowns. Most are blamed on lax safety procedures and negligence.