The families of two victims who died in the Oakland warehouse party fire at the beginning of December have filed lawsuits alleging that property owner, operators, and a number of various workers in both city and county departments knew the Ghost Ship building was a substantial hazard.
Among the long list of defendants named in the lawsuits are building owner Chor Nar Siu Ng, landlords Micah Allison and Derick Almena (the guy who issued that tone-deaf Facebook statement), the LA label 100% Silk, show headliner Golden Donna, as well as Oakland’s Police, Fire, and Planning and Building Departments.
The suit alleges, CNN reports, that members of the Oakland Fire Department, who had previously "attended and held a music event" at the venue, should have been aware of the building's many violations.
According to city records, complaints about the Ghost Ship had been filed with the City of Oakland before the blaze. The complaints include reports of "garbage piling up on the property," as well as an "illegal interior building structure," perhaps referring to the room dividers or the stairway made from wooden skids. Despite the record of official complaints, Oakland's interim director of planning and building, said the warehouse hadn't been inspected in 30 years.
The lawsuit includes allegations like: "The interior of the approximately 10,000-square-foot Ghost Ship was a death trap, which contained a maze of makeshift rooms, alcoves and partitions. It was cluttered with carvings, mannequins, paintings, artwork, scraps of wood, pianos, furniture, tapestries and at least one recreational vehicle trailer, which were kindling for the fire."
The day before the deadly blaze, there was another incident there, a fire started by a refrigerator, which was extinguished by residents. It is now believed that a refrigerator may also have caused the December 2 fire.