The death of 36 people in the Oakland fire in the “Ghost Ship” warehouse last Friday night has prompted city officials throughout the Golden State to clamp down on similar warehouses, delivering eviction notices in the hope of preventing such situations in the future.
“The city can come and take these warehouses, invest into them and get the proper permits to save lives,” Dorothy King, the owner of Everett and Jones barbecue restaurant at the corner of Broadway and 2nd Street, told the East Bay Times.
She was reportedly planning to host a news conference to bring attention to another allegedly hazardous warehouse nearby at 411 2nd Street named the Salt Lick, which she described as being “a neat place, but it needs to be regulated. It’s a fire hazard.” However, she was met with shouts and resistance from artists close to the “Ghost Ship” and Salt Lick communities who instead called the news conference a “witch hunt.”
Meanwhile, in West Oakland, eviction notices have started making their way to other warehouse residents. According to the San Jose Mercury News, painter and photographer Angela Scrivani reportedly has 27 days to vacate the West Oakland industrial warehouse space that she has both lived in and used as a painting studio for a decade. The Mercury News further notes that roughly a dozen tenants living in a converted machine shop nearby in Oakland were served with a 30-day eviction notice Monday.
In Southern California, Los Angeles city officials are also planning to meet next week to discuss the city’s unpermitted housing issues, using a building at 931 E. Pico Blvd. as an example of hazards tenants can face, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“In the wake of the tragedy in Oakland, I think it’s especially important that we be vigilant,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer reportedly said. “What we’re trying to do in the filing in the 931 Pico case and convening this meeting is to avoid a tragedy here.”
The Times also notes that Oakland officials revealed that no building code enforcement inspector had been inside the “Ghost Ship” in at least 30 years. The East Bay Express notes that Oakland firefighters revealed that their department has been managed so poorly that the “Ghost Ship” was not even listed in its inspection database.
A former resident of Oakland’s “Ghost Ship” who spoke Breitbart News revealed, in detail, the living conditions at the compound. While he noted that the original intention and appeal of the warehouse artistic community was an artistic vision to revitalize the art scene based on local African-American cultural influences, that vision was overrun by what he referred to as the “Burning Man crowd.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz