Ambulances rushed the injured to nearby hospitals as firefighters battled to put out the blaze, which started before dawn at a stall in the Ladies Market in the Mong Kok area of Kowloon.
"Nine people died and 30 people have been sent to hospital for treatment so far," an emergency services spokeswoman said.
The narrow market street was a wall of flame and thick black smoke as the fire tore through the flimsy stalls and residential flats above, witnesses said.
Local television showed firemen pulling shaken survivors and body bags from rooftops, while badly burnt victims were wrapped in bandages and sent to hospital.
The cause of the fire was not known and an investigation was under way, officials said.
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