On Friday, December 2, at about 11:32 PM, a fire broke out in an Oakland warehouse commonly referred to as the “Ghost Ship,” a residential building that hosted dance parties like the one that took place on the evening of the fire. Reports state that 33 bodies have been recovered, making this incident possibly the deadliest in Oakland. Sergeant Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office explained that he and his team anticipate the number of victims may continue to rise as search efforts continue.
Currently, the District Attorney’s Office has criminal investigation teams and other law enforcement agencies examining the site of the fire. The mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, told one news crew that she has ordered an immediate investigation of the building and its troubled history, which includes a review of any and all records of complaints. Additionally, Schaaf told the news team that she demanded an independent analysis into Oakland’s handling of this building and others similar to it.
As of now, it is unclear whether the building was equipped with smoke alarms. Preliminary indications suggest that the fire was not caused by arson but rather by an electrical issue. According to sources, the power in the building went out when the fire started and flames blocked the only exit, making it nearly impossible for partygoers to escape.
When asked to comment on the tragedy, our very own Attorney Gabriel D. Mazzitelli of Freidin Brown, P.A. stated, “This ‘live-work’ warehouse was not permitted as a residential property and fell well below safety standards and codes. The lack of exits and sprinklers, combined with overcrowding at the time of the fire led to this preventable tragedy. If there were past incidents or records of complaints at the property, this would assist in holding liable any responsible party.”
Our team of Miami personal injury lawyers is deeply saddened by the incident and would like to take the time to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the Oakland warehouse fire. We hope that law enforcement agencies and investigation teams will be able to pinpoint the issue so that families can pursue justice for their losses.
If you have any questions regarding the incident or believe you have a case, we urge you to contact our Miami personal injury lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. right away. We can examine the details of your case and determine who should be held liable for your injuries or losses. Call us today.