Similarities striking between 2 deadly Oakland fires

Cheryl Sanders
March 30, 2017

Officials said Tuesday that they believe all of the victims have been found after a fire broke out yesterday, destroying a West Oakland building and killing four people.

The Alameda County coroner identified one of the victims as 64-year-old Edwarn Anderson, of Oakland.

Monday's fatal blaze comes almost four months after Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 people attending a dance party in an illegally converted warehouse on 31st Avenue in Oakland's Fruitvale district. Two others have not been identified.

Jones said a prayer of gratitude for surviving the fire that killed three people and hurt four others, including two children.

In a report after his visit to the building at 2551 San Pablo Ave. on Friday, Fire Inspector David Davis ordered that the building's property manager, Monsa Nitoto, should immediately certify and service the building's fire alarm and sprinkler systems.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The similarities between two deadly Oakland fires that occurred almost four months apart are striking: Each involved a dangerously dilapidated building with an absentee landlord and renters desperate for affordable housing in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

Northern California firefighters are battling a large four-alarm fire at a building in West Oakland.

Logan said about 50 to 60 people lived in the building, which is in a mixed-use neighborhood of warehouses and auto shops. They said four others were hospitalized after the fire but are expected to survive.

A fire official says a second body has been recovered from the site of a fire at an Oakland residential building that housed drug addicts, people struggling with homelessness and others. An attorney for Urojas Community Services, which rents the first two floors of the three-story structure for the transitional housing, said the landlord had been trying to evict the nonprofit organization since the devastating warehouse fire in December. Battalion Chief Erik Logan, who spoke at a department news conference late Monday afternoon, said he didn't know the building's inspection history.

Firefighting crews were battling a major four-alarm fire at a residential building in Oakland, California on Monday and "multiple" rescues had been made there, firefighters and local media reported.

"At the least the rats are gone, and I grabbed my purse", said 62-year-old Angela Taylor, laughing bitterly as she stared at the smoldering building."'It's the purse, but it's better than nothing.

The building, where many residents did not have their own kitchens, had been the target of 20 complaints to the city building department over the past 10 years.

The cause of the Ghost Ship fire is still under investigation. On March 6, a building inspector verified a violation involving deferred maintenance, and the building owner was cited on March 2 for large amounts of trash and debris stacked around the property.

Records show the building was unstable, had electrical issues, lacked hot water and heat, and had mold and rodent infestation and leaking roofs and pipes throughout the building.

"There were no sprinklers or fire extinguishers", said Curtis Robinson, 52, who had to leave his wheelchair behind in the scramble to escape the flames.

After Ghost Ship, we were told steps were taken to improve communications between departments and ensure such tragedies were avoided.

Firefighters responded to the blaze around 5:40 a.m., pulling residents from inside the building and plucking others from fire escapes as flames licked the rooftop.

"I opened the door and there was smoke in the hallway", he said.

Other reports by iNewsToday