The fire started at around 1 a.m. on the second floor of the three-story building as hundreds of people were singing in private rooms at the Inul Vizta Karaoke club in downtown Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province. Some panicked people smashed windows and fled into the street, while many others were stuck in black smoke billowing from the second floor as there was only one access door to the building. Police chief Colonel Rio Permana told reporters that employees of the club had attempted, but failed, to put out the fires with extinguishers. Firefighters arrived in about an hour and it took them several hours to bring the blaze under control. An electrical short circuit has been identified as the likely cause but an investigation is under way. All 17 people who died were Indonesian.