Officials were alerted seven months ago to the illegal home in which a suspected arson attack killed two people and injured 13 yesterday. And although checks were made and the tin hut confirmed to be illegal, no action was taken, it emerged last night. The charred bodies of two men, aged between 40 and 50, were found in the first-floor hut after the fire broke out at 5am in the Fu Yuen Building in Cross Street, Wan Chai. More than 25 people were believed to have been in the hut, sleeping in bunk beds. Another 10 men and three women, including residents from upper floors, were burnt or overcome by smoke. A fire officer said there were suspicious circumstances. At least seven metal containers, believed to contain paint thinner, were found. 'Everything in the unit was alight when we arrived. It was unusual that the fire had spread so quickly to the second floor,' said acting Central divisional commander Cheung Yat-cheong of the Fire Services Department. 'One of the fire sources was discovered in the only exit . . . so residents were forced to climb out of the window to escape.' The Home Affairs Department said last night it had checked the building after it was asked to do so in February by the owners. It found the tin hut to be illegal and reported its findings to the Fire Services Department and the Buildings Department. The Fire Services Department said that, in May, it served two fire hazard abatement notices on the dry riser system and 10 fire extinguishers in the first-floor flats linked to the tin hut by a corridor. A month ago, it visited again and approved the improvements. But on neither occasion did officers check the structure, linked to the units by a corridor. A spokesman said the department did not give special advice on fire safety for illegal structures. Fire officers would not usually enter a private area or check an area not part of the original construction. It is believed the unauthorised alterations have existed for at least six years. The Buildings Department said it could find no record of its actions on the illegal structure. It said it was now applying for a court order to seal the premises. 'From the initial inspection, the flat is not suitable for residing and we will apply for a court order for its closure immediately,' Tsui Ho, deputy chief building surveyor, said. Most residents were allowed back in last night. One resident, Jovita Buyot, who has lived in the building for 11 years, said all her belongings were soaked. 'When I went back to our flat, we had to get the broom to sweep away the water, which was ankle high. Many of our belongings got very wet,' she said.