Two people were burned to death after a fire hit a densely populated area in Barangay San Nicolas, La Paz district, Iloilo City on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18.

The fatalities — identified as Lyn Rose Sobretodo, 26, of Pototan, Iloilo and Renz David Aguilar, 21, of Concepcion, Iloilo — were boarding house renters.

Sobretodo, a call center worker, and Aguilar, a third-year civil engineering student, were reportedly sleeping in their rooms on the third floor when the fire broke out at around 4:15 p.m.

Owned by a certain Rommel Gordon, their boarding house (KIT’S 28) was found to be operating without permits from the city government’s Business Permits and Licensing Division (BPLD) and the Boarding House Commission.

The blaze, which lasted for more than an hour, gutted four boarding houses and three residential houses, according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

The estimated cost of damage was pegged by the City Fire Station at P2,160, 000.

A total of 11 families or 150 individuals were affected by the fire. They are taking temporary shelter at the Geaciano Lopez Jaena Elementary School.

Based on the initial investigation, the fire originated from a house owned by the Tormon family. Its cause has yet to be determined.

Mayor Jerry Trenas expressed his condolences to the families of the fatalities.

“I condole with the families of the victims. The city government will give financial assistance for their burial. Assistance is presently being provided by the CSWDO (City Social Welfare and Development Office).” he said in a statement.IMT