This week’s column expands on last week’s discussion of the implications of CalFire’s recent reports faulting PG&E for a dozen of last October’s wildfires. While last week I focused on the ramifications for direct victims of the firestorm, this week I will look at the broader impacts to the California public. Sadly, this topic feels more timely than ever as Northern California’s first major wildfire of year continues to burn out of control since it began in Lake County on Saturday.
Alexis writes: I live in Napa County and my property was damaged in the Atlas Fire last October. Thankfully, we’re alright but we wonder whether we should join one of the many lawsuits against PG&E to recover some of our losses. I saw that CalFire recently released its second report finding PG&E responsible for several of the fires, including Atlas, and was hoping you could give me a sense of what the report means for fire victims.
Today’s question comes from Tom M. in the Excelsior District who asks, “My parents own a home in Santa Rosa. It burned down in the fires last week. I have heard that PG&E may have known that there were dead branches or sparking transformers and that they didn’t care for their lines and that may have started the fire. What is my parent’s recourse if this is true.”
This week’s Article provides a brief update on the goings-on of the civil lawsuits filed as a result of the Ghost Ship Fire on December 2, 2016.
What was the Ghost Ship Fire?
On December 2, 2016, a fire broke out in a “warehouse” located off of Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland, California. At the time of the fire, the “Ghost Ship” was host to a concert promoted by record label 100% Silk. Thirty-six (36) people died in the blaze. It was the deadliest building fire in California’s history since the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.
Several individuals have come forward with claims for physical, mental and emotional injuries caused by the fire, and/or on behalf of their loved ones who perished in the fire.
On June 5, 2017, Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena and his second-in-command, Max Harris, were arrested and charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in conjunction with the December 2, 2016, Ghost Ship fire that killed three dozen people. “The paying guests at the event were faced with a nearly impossible labyrinth of the defendants’ making to get out of that building,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley at a news conference. “Almena and Harris’ actions were reckless and they created the high risk of death.”
On the night of Friday, December 2, 2016, 36 people perished, almost all young adults, and many more suffered physical and psychological injuries in a horrific fire that consumed the Ghost Ship building in the Fruitvale District of Oakland. The fire started near midnight during an electronic music show in the converted warehouse. It was the deadliest structural blaze in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
My heart, and those of the entire Bay Area, go out to the families and friends whose loved ones died at the Ghost Ship on December 2, 2016. The horrific inferno at the converted, two-story warehouse constitutes the deadliest structure blaze in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
Nearly a year and a half ago, the Bay Area was rocked by the senseless deaths of six young people who died in the collapse of an apartment balcony in Berkeley. Last Friday night, we experienced another tragedy affecting young people, though with a far greater loss of life. My heart, and those of the entire Bay Area, go out to the families and friends whose loved ones died in the horrific Oakland warehouse fire.
Thirty-six people died after a fire broke out in a converted warehouse hosting an electronic music show in the Fruitvale District of Oakland near midnight on Friday, December 2, 2016, making it the deadliest structure blaze in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
In our last post we covered the tragic car accident death of Paul Walker, a popular actor and star of the Fast & Furious movie franchise. Paul Walker died last weekend as the passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend Roger Rodas.