The fire at the Rongjian farmers market in southern Guangdong province began about 1 a.m. and quickly engulfed a 10,800-square-foot area, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Five people were injured
It took about 2 hours for 145 firefighters to put out the blaze, Xinhua reported.
Zhang Xiaowei, a spokesman for the fire department, said all the victims were inside four stores inside the market.
Police are investigating the cause of the blaze.