Oakland found building lacked sprinklers before deadly blaze

The Alameda County coroner said Tuesday that 50-year-old Cassandra Robertson was a resident of the building.

In 2010, Oakland allowed the owner of the 40-unit building to convert the structure into transitional housing for recovering drug addicts, people struggling with homelessness and others, records show. Edwarn Anderson, 64, died inside the property, officials said.

Firefighters battle an early morning apartment fire Monday in Oakland, Calif.

Ruben Deon Mitchell Jr. said he was awakened shortly after 4 a.m.to screams of fire.

Residents reported deplorable living conditions, including almost unpassable hallways filled with trash, tattered furniture and other debris.

Start with Ghost Ship: At first, officials said that before the fire no city workers had been inside the warehouse, which was filled with furniture and turned out to have no sprinklers or fire alarms, only one obvious exit, cords strung to provide electricity and a makeshift stairwell built out of wood pallets.

Officials uncovered multiple fire code violations during an inspection Friday and ordered the owner of the Oakland building to immediately fix the fire alarm and sprinkler systems, according to documents released by the city.

The building housed between 80 and 100 residents, according to Oakland fire officials.

Inspectors discovered that a California building in a rundown neighborhood lacked fire extinguishers, smoke detectors in every apartment and a working sprinkler system just three days before a blaze erupted Monday, killing four low-income residents.

City fire officials have been criticized for failing to inspect the Ghost Ship warehouse and the mayor conceded that city agencies need to improve communications after records showed police responding to a number of complaints there in the months before the December 2 blaze.

Firefighters are now battling a four-alarm fire in Oakland, California.

The center assists about 60 people with transitional housing and services, Cook said.

One person was still unaccounted for late Monday, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Lowery did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday about that issue.

When fire crews first arrived on scene this morning there was heavy smoke and flames visible, Logan said, and he did not hear any alarms going off.

Oakland became the site of the deadliest structure fire in the U.S.in more than a decade when three dozen partygoers perished at a warehouse fire in December.

Two Oakland organizations - Urojas Community Services and Dignity Housing West - rented space in the building for a variety of clients in need of housing assistance, medical and mental health care, and other services.

The death toll continues to climb as a result of a deadly fire at a warehouse in Oakland, California.

Records show the building was unstable, had electrical issues, lacked hot water and heat, and had mold and rodent infestation and leaking roofs and pipes throughout the building.

Meanwhile, the fire department, which under state law should have inspected the building annually, apparently failed to do so.

City records also show the building owner was cited on March 2 for large amounts of trash and debris stacked around the property. They said four others were hospitalized after the fire but are expected to survive.



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