Two Arrested Over December’s Deadly Oakland, California ‘Ghost Ship’ Fire
Two people have been arrested in connection with a fire at a warehouse in Oakland, California known as the “Ghost Ship,” that killed 36 people during a dance party last year, prosecutors said. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office scheduled a news conference to discuss the arrests of Derrick Ion Almena and Max Harris. Almena rented the warehouse and ran it as an art collective and communal residence. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Harris was a creative director of the art space. The newspaper, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, said both men were taken into custody on suspicion of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
The warehouse, known as the “Ghost Ship,” was home to an artist’ collective in East Oakland. During a concert on Dec. 2, a fire quickly spread through the building and trapped dozens of people at the event, becoming the country’s deadliest fire in more than a decade. O’Malley excoriated Almena and Harris for their actions leading up to the fire, saying they “knowingly created a firetrap with inadequate means of escape.” “They then filled that area with human beings and are now facing the consequences of their actions,” O’Malley continued. O’Malley said Almena and Harris had allowed unsafe musical events in the space and on the night of the deadly blaze, blocked one of the two exits from the building’s second floor. “The building had no fire suppression, nor did it have lighted pathways to get out,” she said. They both face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and could face up to 39 years in prison, O’Malley said. Attorneys for Almena said they viewed the charges as an effort to scapegoat him. “We intend to vigorously defend him in the court of law,” the attorneys said in a joint statement. “We believe that these charges represent no less than a miscarriage of justice, and we are confident that this attempt to make a scapegoat out of our client will fail.” Max Harris has not responded to charges as of yet.
The night of the fire, the venue was packed with people and jammed with rugs, musical equipment, cluttered tables and other items. Oakland’s interim director of planning and building told a reporter that an inspector had not “been inside the building in 30 years.” This year, Almena’s attorneys released a report arguing that the fire began in an adjacent building, which they said ruled out any criminal negligence on his part. During the briefing Monday, county officials said the fire’s cause is unclear because so much evidence was destroyed in the blaze. “Because the evidence was largely consumed in the fire itself, the specific cause of the fire will remain as undetermined.” It was the deadliest blaze in the United States since 100 people perished in a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island.
The “Ghost Ship” Warehouse Planners Will Definitely Not Walk Away From Their Negligence
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
Large and broken-down buildings are often used for dance raves and in this case, an artist’s showcase. (whatever that terms actually means?) This may bring about new inspection guidelines for permits being applied for when using empty buildings for their place of entertainment.
The World: Inverted (Upside Down)
This card is ultimate success in worldly projects and happy conclusion. Since pulled inverted, I believe it supports my statement of how this is going to turn out for the planners of this dance party.
The Hermit: Inverted
This card is introspection and isolation. Since pulled inverted, I feel that neither of the men charged in this fire feel they should pay a price for patrons who died knowingly attending a party in an unsafe building.
The High Priestess: Inverted
This is a woman who is self-sufficient but sometimes feels lost and alone. Since inverted, I believe this represents prosecutor O’Malley who will pursue the punishment of the two men arrested and is emotionally attached to the pain it has caused with so many young deaths.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine. (life cycles) Learn more at her website: www.szrwhitewings.com