Fatal West Oakland fire: 4 victims killed

Cheryl Sanders
March 30, 2017

Building inspectors found multiple fire code violations at a Northern California building just three days before a blaze on Monday killed three of the low-income residents.

Davis's report ordered immediate certification and service for the building's fire alarm and sprinkler systems.

The fire broke out in the rundown neighborhood almost three months after a warehouse called the Ghost Ship caught fire and killed 36 people attending an unlicensed concert about five miles (eight kilometers) away.

Several residents said they discounted the initial commotion over the fire because the building and neighborhood are noisy.

Jones, 43, then found Princess, the "house" pit bull, cowering in the backyard, and the two ran out the front door as glass shattered from the heat.

Only one of the casualties has so far been identified, as 64-year-old Edwarn Anderson. Two others have not been identified.

People trapped in the apartments that housed about 100 people hung out of windows and knotted sheets into makeshift ropes to escape the massive blaze, which began ravaging the decrepit building at 5:40 a.m. Monday. The tragedy also raised still-unresolved questions about the effectiveness of Oakland's code enforcement process - questions that are sure to be revived by the 2551 San Pablo fire.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Erik Logan said one person is feared dead after rescuers spotted what looked to be a body on the third floor.

Fire officials say they are still investigating the cause of the deadly Ghost Ship fire.

In some ways, the Monday morning fire was more deplorable than the Ghost Ship blaze, Cook said, because the residents of the home were among the city's most vulnerable - many were battling mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness. "It's the wrong purse, but it's better than nothing. A lady needs her purse".

Oakland Fire Department is leading the investigation with the assistance from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Its owner, Keith Kim, did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press.

Records also show the building owner was cited on March 2 for large amounts of trash and debris stacked around the property.

Over the past decade, the city has received 20 complaints about pest infestation, electrical issues, mold, trash, graffiti, floors caving in, urine and feces on the floors and others issues, the Mercury News reported.

After the Ghost Ship fire, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf vowed that the fire department and city agencies would streamline their internal communications and improve their inspection practices.

Residents were caught in the middle of a dispute between Kim and the center after Kim sought to evict Urojas in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire. "I didn't hear a fire alarm", she said.

Approximately 50 to 60 people lived in the building, Logan said, and the Red Cross is helping those who were displaced. He had complained to the city about clogged toilets and disgusting bathrooms, exposed wires and water an inch deep on the ground floor, he said.

The four-alarm fire that broke out early Monday morning in a West Oakland building, killing at least three people and displacing over 80, may not have been accidental as a lawyer for a group of tenants facing eviction is saying.

Residents on Monday echoed concerns about deplorable living conditions, including almost unpassable hallways filled with trash, tattered furniture and other debris.

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