REPORT: Alameda Co DA To Charge ‘Ghost Ship’ Master Tenant With 36 Counts Of Murder In Fire
(BANT) – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced today that her office is filing criminal charges for the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland’s Fruitvale district that killed 36 people in December.
O’Malley won’t discuss the details of the criminal case, such as who has been charged, until she holds a news conference at 1 p.m. But KTVU is reporting that master tenant Derick Almena has been arrested and is expected to be charged.
Nearly all of the people who died in the blaze at the warehouse at 1315 31st Ave. on Dec. 2 were attending a dance party on its second floor.
A recent lawsuit that was filed on behalf of the families of half of the 36 victims alleged that the warehouse was “a death trap that contained a maze of makeshift rooms, alcoves and partitions” and lacked a safe means of getting out.
Among the people named as a defendant in the lawsuit was the Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Ion Almena. Almena’s attorney Tony Serra issued a report in January that Serra said casts doubt on Almena’s culpability for the fire and suggests that the fire originated in the warehouse next to the Ghost Ship, not the Ghost Ship itself.
Several weeks after the fire, Serra said Almena didn’t engage in any criminal misconduct and alleged that governmental agencies were responsible for the blaze for not cracking down on code violations at the warehouse.