Officials have made known the pleas of two men alleged of turning a warehouse in Oakland into a labyrinth-like firetrap. Both men, on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter that was associated with the deadliest fire recorded in the history of California.
Information was conveyed to the property manager Derick Ion Almena who is famous for the conversion of the warehouse into an artist’s residence and underground concert venue called Ghost Ship and Max Harris who is the creative director of the venue concerning the trial they stand to face on Tuesday 16 July in an Oakland courtroom.
Following the allegation of a purposeful creation of fire trap without means of escape by Alameda County Dist, Atty, Nancy E, O’Malley. Almena and Harris got arrested and charged last summer. It was claimed that they illegally allowed dozens of people to stay in a building meant for artists.
The warehouse was claimed to be filled with flammable materials from floor to ceiling and occupants of over 25 without any fire suppression equipment.
According to the information from a reliable source, prior to the blaze that took place on the 2 of December 2016, Harris had given out the upstairs portion of the warehouse to a promoter. Information from the statement filed in June 2017 confirmed he allegedly shut down a second stairway which ought to serve as an exit during the preparation for an electronic dance show leaving everyone with a single way out of the building when flames began to consume the building.
There was an instant power failure resulting from the startup of the flame. Scared occupants of the building tried to escape through a gangplank which is a narrow wooden staircase that was found too small for the number of people trying to escape. Tragically, all the victims suffered suffocation according to a report from the coroner. The age range of victims of the incident is 17 to 61. However, the prosecutor made it obvious that Almena ordered the construction of the illegal staircase.
Though an investigation is on, to determine the cause of the fire outbreak, it is most likely the cause will remain a misery due to the damage of useful evidence. The prosecutor said this in one of his statements.
Almena who happened to be the least lessee on the building resides in the warehouse with his wife Micah Allison and three children that were absent during the fire outbreak. The description given on Craigslist concerning the incident includes referring to the Ghost Ship as a hybrid museum, sunken pirate ship, Singled funhouse, and guerrilla Gallery.
The charges have been dismissed as a miscarriage of justice by his attorney. The prosecutor was alleged of using Almena as an example to deflection criticism of negligence regarding Oakland officials. A report has it that Public records released in February 2017 revealed numerous visitation of police and city officials to the Ghost Ship. It was reported that the visitation took place several times in the year prior to the fire incident. Not less than 10 code enforcement violations were investigated at the dilapidated building.