CA - Massive fire at Oakland warehouse party, 36 dead, 2 Dec 2016 #1

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Jax49

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My sister in law was at the rave. We cannot find her. She's not answering her phone which is dead. The coroner said she's on the unaccounted list. Please
pray for us. I'm on the plane to Oakland. Her name is Jennifer Mendiola. My brother is flipping out.

OMG no.
 

LinasK

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The sad part of this tragedy is the city has been aware of the misuse of this building looong before the November inspection that is being referenced! It will be interesting to find out when the city last investigated this building.

The living arrangements being described didn't just happen recently. There has been a major event(s) to bring the inspectors to finally check this property out. My feelings are the city is back stepping to cover their arses!

With the owner being known as a slum lord, she is well known by city officials. Owning property in Oakland is not cheap, let alone owning 11 properties as I read in one article. No, can't retrace and find the article. Therefore, she must have money, and in many cities, citizens with money seem to live with a different set of rules - as in getting by with not following rules or laws that the average person must live by. JMO.

Hopefully time will tell when the families' lawyers start investigating into inspection reports on this property. My guess is that is where the true story is.

My opinion only.
.The building, which was zoned as a warehouse, had been the subject of a number of complaints and may have been illegally modified in ways that made it difficult for partygoers to escape.<snip> The building had no sprinklers, Deloach Reed said, and crews did not hear any smoke detectors going off when they arrived. When crews first entered to fight the fire, they were impeded by clutter, including furniture, art pieces and several mannequins. “It was filled end-to-end with furniture, whatnot, collections,” Deloach Reed said. “It was like a maze almost.” Crews also found a “makeshift stairwell’ between the first and second floor, she said.<snip>
Property records show the owner is Chor N. Ng of Oakland. An art collective called “Ghost Ship” was occupying the building
The building is 9,880 square feet, and the property is zoned for a warehouse. Saturday, Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo, who represents the Fruitvale district, said he has gotten numerous complaints about parties at the building and illegal dumping on the property.
Officials had cited the building’s owner for blight on Nov. 13 after neighbors complained of “a ton of garbage piling up” in the adjoining lot. The next day, city records show, officials followed what was called a housing habitability complaint and began an investigation of an alleged “illegal interior building structure.”
The two-story building is zoned for a warehouse, but witnesses said it had become an art studio and living space — a growing trend in the Bay Area’s white-hot housing market.
The building had no sprinklers or fire alarms, a few fire extinguishers and only two exits. The roof of the building collapsed in the fire onto the second floor. more at link: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/12...ire-at-live-work-space-in-fruitvale-district/
 

LinasK

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My sister in law was at the rave. We cannot find her. She's not answering her phone which is dead. The coroner said she's on the unaccounted list. Please
pray for us. I'm on the plane to Oakland. Her name is Jennifer Mendiola. My brother is flipping out.


Prayers for you...
 

LaborOfLobe

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My sister in law was at the rave. We cannot find her. She's not answering her phone which is dead. The coroner said she's on the unaccounted list. Please
pray for us. I'm on the plane to Oakland. Her name is Jennifer Mendiola. My brother is flipping out.

OMG gitana, I'm so sorry!! Praying hard for you, your family and your sister-in-law!
 

LinasK

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gitana1

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Thank you. I'm on the plane. Helpless afraid to look up more info on Facebook. Trying to get to my brother. He's out of his mind. He just had two friends have their spouse and girlfriend die and said, "I'm so lucky." I can't handle this.
 

jamiect

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My sister in law was at the rave. We cannot find her. She's not answering her phone which is dead. The coroner said she's on the unaccounted list. Please
pray for us. I'm on the plane to Oakland. Her name is Jennifer Mendiola. My brother is flipping out.

:praying: For you and your family.
 

LinasK

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Fire officials said Saturday afternoon that they had to halt the recovery process because parts of the building had been deemed too unsafe, but by 3:30 p.m. PST, the Alameda County Sheriff’s office tweeted it had begun the recovery process again.<snip>
“This is a devastating scene,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. “This is complicated and it is going to take us time to do the methodical, thorough investigation that these families deserve.”
Officials said people either escaped from the cluttered building or died inside, where the only way down from the second story was via a stairwell constructed entirely of wooden pallets.

“It appears that either you got out or you got trapped inside,” said Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly. Firefighters used chain saws and axes Saturday to cut through the debris of the cluttered building in a gritty neighborhood of the San Francisco Bay Area city, where the fire broke out about 11:30 p.m. Friday.
CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has joined local firefighters to investigate. more at link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oakland-fire-death-toll-rise-slow-recovery-process-begins/
 

fabvab

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My sister in law was at the rave. We cannot find her. She's not answering her phone which is dead. The coroner said she's on the unaccounted list. Please
pray for us. I'm on the plane to Oakland. Her name is Jennifer Mendiola. My brother is flipping out.
Praying for your family.
 

katydid23

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It appears the building owner is some sort of slum lord who owns other properties and has been cited before. The city knew the building had structural issues a month beforehand. I hope this owner is caught and severely punished. It did look cool with all the antique furniture and pianos, but who uses wooden pallets as the only type of staircase and no smoke detectors??? Too many blind/naive people involved in this situation.

I know that you know the Bay Area very well. I grew up in the Berkeley/Oakland area and I know how the city government works there.

In my experience, there is kind of a dual nature, or even schizophrenic nature to city government in Oakland. On one hand it is a large modern bureaucracy, with loads of detailed regulations. My brother is a long time attorney there and has often complained about the intensity of their detailed rules and regulations etc.

But big money and business owners do seek favors, I am sure.

However, Oakland is a very progressive, liberal enclave. And they LOVE their artists and their communal collectives. And they would drag their feet in having to evict dozens of artists,imo. They like to be totally supportive of low income, homeless, artistic, creative individuals and will go to great lengths to allow them to prosper in the city, in whatever way they need to. I have seen the city turn a blind eye to other 'illegal' actions in order to allow people to 'get by' . For example, if a citizen reports people setting up tents under an overpass or in a non-working car---the city often chooses to let it go. Or if a motivated entrepreneur makes handmade tamales to sell on the street, which is against health regulations, it is often ignored. Because there is also a feeling of 'let people do what they need to do' to get by. That has just been my experience, and maybe it is not related to this case. But it seems to me that someone had to have known there were artists living there. JMO :cow:
 

CARIIS

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Thank you. I'm on the plane. Helpless afraid to look up more info on Facebook. Trying to get to my brother. He's out of his mind. He just had two friends have their spouse and girlfriend die and said, "I'm so lucky." I can't handle this.

There will be resources out there pls utilize. When you around others in your place- talk talk talk talk.

Am thinking of you- my heart stopped when I read your post pls post - that too is helpful for you .

This is so sad
have you found your brother?

How far away is he from you?

Is he alone?

Are you close?

Older younger?
 

CARIIS

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Even if that were true, which clearly someone is lying, wouldn't you still be responsible for smoke detectors and multiple stairways and exits that weren't wooden??? Sounds like the daughter is trying to escape responsibility.


Building inspector tried to get in Nov 17 and could not. It is clear that there is negligence here. Its sad and angering
Californa and Colorado have the lowest death rate in the nation from fire -local news on in background.
 

LinasK

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But over the past decade, the 4,000-square-foot structure was better known to city zoning and fire officials as a source of complaints about illegal residential uses, all-night dance parties and general blight.
The complaints came to light Saturday as Oakland officials grappled to answer questions about a blaze that took at least nine lives. The building is zoned as a warehouse, which does not allow for residential uses. Darin Ranelletti, interim director of the city Planning and Building Department, said the warehouse was under investigation to determine whether it was being illegally used for housing. &#8220;We had reports that people were living there, but we&#8217;re still trying to confirm them,&#8221; said Ranelletti, who also said that the party that took place Friday required a permit, which was not obtained.

The most recent complaint of illegal residential occupancy and blight was on Nov. 13, Ranelletti said. Inspectors confirmed that there was garbage in the outside area on the property but were not able to gain entry to the building to confirm that people were living there. An inspector went to the property Nov. 17 to investigate rogue interior construction but was not able to gain entry.
Witnesses described the interior of the building as having an eclectic mix of tapestries, instruments and an ornately carved ceiling. A makeshift staircase fashioned in part out of wooden pallets provided the only connection between the ground floor and a second-story mezzanine.
&#8220;It was just a labyrinth of little areas,&#8221; said Deputy Fire Chief Mark Hoffmann, explaining that sculptors, painters and other artists had partitioned spaces off for studios.


  • square_gallery_thumb.jpg
    Governor Brown, Mayor Schaaf voice grief over deadly Oakland fire


Al Garcia, owner of a business across the street from the warehouse at 31st Avenue and International Boulevard, said he had worried that the live-work space was a fire hazard because of the junk and debris around. The people who lived there, he said, had been trying to clean it up.
The building has been the source of blight complaints. On April 4, 2014, the Planning and Building Department received a complaint that &#8220;a large structure had been built at (the) property that had not been strapped down or stable.&#8221; No further information is available on the city&#8217;s complaint enforcement database, except that the issues had been abated.
In 2008, the city received a complaint of &#8220;trash debris and overgrowth&#8221; at the site. That, too, was cleaned up, abatedaccording to city records.
The space, which was also known as Satya Yuga, was run by Derick Ion, who lived there with his wife, Micah Allison, and children, who were staying at a hotel during the Friday event. more at link: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Building-of-fatal-fire-was-known-as-The-10689319.php
 

LinasK

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Building inspector tried to get in Nov 17 and could not. It is clear that there is negligence here. Its sad and angering
Californa and Colorado have the lowest death rate in the nation from fire -local news on in background.


The space, which was also known as Satya Yuga, was run by Derick Ion, who lived there with his wife, Micah Allison, and children, who were staying at a hotel during the Friday event. In a Facebook post Friday night, Ion wrote, “Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound.”
Ion added, “It’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope ... to be standing now in poverty of self worth.”
The Facebook post was heavily criticized. Several people wrote that they had cautioned Ion that the building was unsafe. One Facebook user wrote: “Derick you were warned. Every time I came to your house I warned you and you just laughed.”
 

Hatfield

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Thank you. I'm on the plane. Helpless afraid to look up more info on Facebook. Trying to get to my brother. He's out of his mind. He just had two friends have their spouse and girlfriend die and said, "I'm so lucky." I can't handle this.

Prayers for you and your family members.

Glad you are able to fly to be closer to your brother who has been affected. Please know there are many of us here on WS keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Praying that your SIL will be found safe.
 

CARIIS

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.The building, which was zoned as a warehouse, had been the subject of a number of complaints and may have been illegally modified in ways that made it difficult for partygoers to escape.<snip> The building had no sprinklers, Deloach Reed said, and crews did not hear any smoke detectors going off when they arrived. When crews first entered to fight the fire, they were impeded by clutter, including furniture, art pieces and several mannequins. &#8220;It was filled end-to-end with furniture, whatnot, collections,&#8221; Deloach Reed said. &#8220;It was like a maze almost.&#8221; Crews also found a &#8220;makeshift stairwell&#8217; between the first and second floor, she said.<snip>
Property records show the owner is Chor N. Ng of Oakland. An art collective called &#8220;Ghost Ship&#8221; was occupying the building
The building is 9,880 square feet, and the property is zoned for a warehouse. Saturday, Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo, who represents the Fruitvale district, said he has gotten numerous complaints about parties at the building and illegal dumping on the property.
Officials had cited the building&#8217;s owner for blight on Nov. 13 after neighbors complained of &#8220;a ton of garbage piling up&#8221; in the adjoining lot. The next day, city records show, officials followed what was called a housing habitability complaint and began an investigation of an alleged &#8220;illegal interior building structure.&#8221;
The two-story building is zoned for a warehouse, but witnesses said it had become an art studio and living space &#8212; a growing trend in the Bay Area&#8217;s white-hot housing market.
The building had no sprinklers or fire alarms, a few fire extinguishers and only two exits. The roof of the building collapsed in the fire onto the second floor. more at link: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/12...ire-at-live-work-space-in-fruitvale-district/

tlocal news thinking 18 people might have been living. there

Presser in 15

4 removed

The hardest part is nothing has changed since this AM. I know they are trying it makes it more confusing.
 

LinasK

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local news thinking 18 people might have been living.

What channel? I can only find coverage right now on KTVU- Channel 2 in the Bay Area.
They reported they've recovered 4 of the 9 confirmed dead.
 

CARIIS

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[FONT=&quot]The definition of “blighted” varies by jurisdiction and can be overly vague, but it generally describes buildings that lack adequate ventilation, sanitation, electricity and utilities, or that pose a fire hazard, or are otherwise unsafe. In one case, whole slums were razed in southwest Washington, and the land was transferred to private developers to create condominiums, private office buildings and a shopping center. Even a non-blighted property was taken because it lay within the slum, and the courts decided that the redevelopment project could be judged as a whole, rather than on a parcel-by-parcel basis.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Because blighted properties can be more easily seized, a home inspection performed by a qualified InterNACHI inspector can be used to inform homeowners of conditions that might cause a home to qualify as blighted.


[/FONT]
 

LinasK

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