The first pair of wrongful-death lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California during a dance party on December 2. Officials say 36 people died in the blaze.
According to reports, the Ghost Ship was much more than just a simple warehouse. It was a well-known “live-work” warehouse. Artists used a portion of the main floor as studio space and dozens reportedly lived there. Dance parties typically occurred on the second floor.
The lawsuits claim the building was a death trap. It was in violation of city codes and under dangerous conditions that included exposed dangling wires, makeshift heating from propane tanks, no running water, no sprinkler system, non-working smoke alarms, no fire extinguishers, and a labyrinth of flammable materials. The second floor was only reachable by a rickety staircase made of pallets. Once the fire broke out, it was impossible for most of the people inside to escape.