“The kids were learning the Koran when the fire broke out,” police spokesman Moses Carter said.
He added the blaze was caused by an electrical issue and that further investigations were ongoing.
Carter had originally said 30 children were killed before revising the death toll down to 27.
Two teachers are also among the dead. While two survivors were taken to a local hospital and remain in a critical condition.
Officials told AFP news agency that the children ranged between age 10 and 20 years old.
The fire started late on Tuesday in the suburbs of the capital Monrovia, President George Weah said in a tweet.
“My prayers go out to the families of the children that died last night in Paynesville City,” Weah said. “This is a tough time for the families of the victims and all of Liberia.”
My prayers go out to the families of the children that died last night in Paynesville City; as a result of a deadly fire that engulfed their school building. This is a tough time for the families of the victims and all of Liberia. Deepest condolences go out to the bereaved
— George Weah (@GeorgeWeahOff) September 18, 2019
It is common for buildings to collapse in blazes linked to faulty electrics in Liberia’s big cities, however, these are rarely deadly.
The victims will be buried Wednesday in line with Islamic funeral rites, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh said.
NTD News staff and The CNN Wire contributed to this report.