Images showed thick smoke and flames billowing out of the top floor of the Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of the Indian capital.
The cause of the fire was not known immediately but officials hinted at a short circuit.
Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out.
He said, "Seventeen people had died and two others are injured".
It is estimated around 120 people were inside the hotel - built around 25 years ago - when the fire started.
"There was wooden panelling on corridors because of which people could not use corridors to evacuate", another fire officer told reporters.
Police said they were investigating the cause.
Hotel Arpit Palace is located in Karol Bagh, an area popular with tourists for its budget hotels and shopping.
Three members of an extended family were among the dead.
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"They came here from south India to attend a wedding".
The hotel developer had a permit from the fire department to build up to four stories - the standard height in central Delhi.
Delhi authorities often launch raids to enforce building codes, fire safety measures and evacuation procedures.
Since majority of Delhi's restaurants, banquet halls, hospitals, old cinema halls and other commercial buildings don't have fire safety norms in place, Delhi seems to be sitting on fire as nobody is bothered.
Chand said rescue efforts were delayed because the first fire trucks arrived with manual ladders that weren't tall enough to reach his floor. Most people jumped out of the upper floors of the hotel to save their lives.
Even though the law limits construction to four floors, the hotel had a fifth floor, like some other nearby structures, Mr Jain said, adding that the kitchen and dining area on its top floor constituted another violation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths.
On 7 February, a fire broke out in Metro Hospitals and Heart Institute in Noida, trapping several people inside the multi-storeyed building.
Meanwhile, the fire has been doused and bodies of the people are being taken out now from the hospital. More than a dozen people were killed.
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