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From Fest to Fire

What started as a concert, ended as a deadly turn out.

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On December 2, 2016, tragedy struck at the Ghost Ship venue in Oakland, California. A fire commenced at around 11:30 pm inside of the warehouse, leaving 36 innocent people dead. Investigators believed it started as an electrical problem from an old refrigerator. As they continued with their investigation, they have come to find out that the refrigerator was not the start of the fire. Electrical engineers are still searching for the appliance that might be responsible for this tragedy.

Chor Nar Siu Ng was the owner of the Ghost Ship but Derick Ion Almena and his wife Micah Allison were the ones running the place. Neither have commented on this tragic event but have only shared their condolences with the families of the victims. The Ghost Ship wasn’t just a venue leased to artists and musicians, but it was also a living space. Almena, his wife and 3 children lived there along with renters who never stayed there long. Renters had taken notice of the hazards within the facility and would move out when they felt it was too dangerous.

Many of these renters have stepped forward accusing the Almena’s of foolish acts. One in particular, Almena and his friends would repair the interior of the facility without the permits needed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In one situation, two of Almena’s children, ages 5 and 3, were present during one of these dangerous repairs. Hence why many people want Almena to be convicted but he states that it has never been in his intention for any harm to be done.  

Could the fire have been prevented? Many believe so. Turns out that the Ghost Ship had not been inspected for the last 30 years. There were no valid permits held to run the warehouse as a concert and artistic venue. Although there were no permits, no one had reported any violations. Investigators have found that there was lack of fire safety, so now the wait is on, on who might get convicted. Chor Nar Siu Ng or Derick Ion Almena.

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The student-run news site of Pacifica High School
From Fest to Fire