36 dead as criminal investigation continues into Oakland warehouse fire
A criminal investigation continues into the December 2, Oakland warehouse fire as the death toll remains unchanged at 36 people. Meanwhile, friends and family continue to mourn their lost loved ones a week after the “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire, the deadliest in the city’s history.
It was a Friday night just before midnight when an electronic music group began playing in front of a lively crowd at the warehouse. Witnesses say many guests thought the initial smoke from the fire was part of the show. It wasn’t until flames began to rip through the quarter-block-long warehouse that people started to panic.
The “Ghost Ship” warehouse was an illegally-converted venue designed to host large-scale parties and act as a make-shift home for many local artists. With extremely high-rent costs in the San Francisco Bay area the “Ghost Ship” and others like it had become very popular inexpensive places to live and host events.
Artists who were familiar with the warehouse describe seeing dangling electrical wires from the ceiling, only two exits in the warehouse and a set of narrow stairs leading from the first floor to the second. Former tenants tell of rigged generators and hotplates throughout the building. For these reasons,the “Ghost Ship” was under an active investigation by the City of Oakland for violations.
Many of the Oakland fire’s 36 victims were under the age of 40. Some were students out for a night of carefree dancing, others were DJs playing their newest electronic dance mixes. Their night of fun turned into a nightmare.
One witness of the fire describes pulling a victim out of the building while burning debris fell on him causing a severe burn injury. Another survivor describes witnessing a tenant of the warehouse stepping through the debris in his barefeet carrying his two dogs.
In a such a large fire many victims often die as a result of the smoke not the fire. Smoke inhalation can severely irritate a person’s lungs. Usually the survivors of a fire are taken to hospital suffering from a burn injury, lacerations and broken bones.
There are many types victims in the Oakland warehouse fire. There are those who lost loved ones, survivors recovering in hospital from traumas like a burn injury, and the men and women who died trying to escape the blaze.
Our team at Penney and Associates Personal Injury Lawyers would like to offer our sincerest condolences to all of those who have been directly affected by this tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this great time of struggle.
If you or someone you know has suffered a burn injury due to the “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire, please contact our firm at (800) 616-4529.