BEIJING -- A pre-dawn fire in a two-story house in eastern China on Sunday killed 22 people and injured three, authorities said.

The city of Changshu in Jiangsu province, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Shanghai, said in a brief social media post that the fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. It said authorities put out the fire and finished cleaning the scene.

The cause remains under investigation.

It's not clear how many residents survived.

An earlier report by the official Xinhua News Agency said more than 20 people lived in the house, citing unnamed sources.

Phones at the city's publicity department rang unanswered.