Deadly Oakland Fire Reveals Agency Failures

Updated on December 5, 2016
The deadly blaze
The deadly blaze
Inside before the fire
Inside before the fire
The Aftermath
The Aftermath

The deadly fire, killing at least 36 or more, in Oakland, CA., in a warehouse has exposed that governmental agencies simply failed to their jobs. The fire raced through a warehouse in a furnace of a blaze during a party on the second floor that collapsed onto those occupants living on the first floor. It remains a horrific story as remains have been so charred that DNA is required to identify individuals.

It is a story of how county and city agencies failed to follow-up on reports, looked the other way, and were negligent in doing their job. Perhaps, the D.A. should also be looking into this as the story unfolds.

The smoking gun is a former woman who lived in the warehouse from 2014-15 because housing is hard to find and very expensive. Interviewed on CNN, she was renting a space for her RV that was parked inside the warehouse for $700 a month, paid to a "artist colony manager" who ran the warehouse as a housing rental with up to 20 residents living there. The man was not the owner, but was renting the place from the owner and then subletting the inside without the knowledge of the owner. When the owner did inspect it, the residents were told to vanish so that the "artist colony" was deceptive. The woman indicated that during the year she lived there, at least two small fires had happened due to faulty and illegal hookups to PGE utility, meaning they were getting free electricity. Their transformer once exploded. There was only one barely functional bathroom for the 20 residents and the heat within the warehouse also failed many times. The woman complained to the police and housing authorities at least three times about the situation. One time, the warehouse manager pulled a gun on her and police arrived on the scene. The man was not arrested but the police did enter the warehouse and could see potential building code violations etc. Despite at least three complaints to Oakland's housing department due to the obvious code violations to her, no response occurred. There was never an inspection by city officials. The woman indicated that Child Protective Services also had visited the site a few times because younger than teens were living there to inspect living conditions. Yet, CPS, seemed to have not reported anything, perhaps because whenever the owner, police, etc., arrived, the renters living there were not there. There was never a surprise spot inspection on the warehouse. Had there been, the truth inside would have been discovered.

The woman was not at all surprised that a fire broke out. Most likely, the cause will be an illegal connection to PGE lines causing a transformer explosion during the party which was consuming large amounts of electricity. When CNN interviewed a member of the Oakland city council who lived only two blocks away from the site, he admitted that he and others knew that people were living in the warehouse that was violating city codes for it was not zoned for that. So, a member on the city council knew the warehouse was being used as a residence and looked the other way. Did nothing. Did not care enough to even have the warehouse inspected in the past two years. WOW.

As I said, will the D.A. be objective enough to turn its investigation to internal city and county negligence that could have prevented this loss of life? You have a member of the city council admitting it was "common knowledge" people were living there. You have an eyewitness who did live there citing how police and CPS were onsite, inside, many times during her one year residence there. You have her complaining to housing authorities about the conditions inside several times.

This is a classic case of both negligence and willful negligence causing loss of life. This seems to be a wrongful death case and a total failure of county and city agencies in performing their duties to protect the public. It was an accident waiting to happen that was allowed to happen by agency failures. Tragic.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)