ERIE, Pa. — Work crews have stopped searching through the scene of Friday night’s deadly warehouse fire in Oakland, California, after the building was deemed unsafe.
As the staggering number of people killed in this massive fire keeps rising, the questions are mounting in what is now the deadliest fire ever in Oakland.
There have been 36 victims confirmed in the fire. Eleven have been identified so far.
This well known artists’ colony, called the Ghost Ship, was filled that night for a concert. People weren’t supposed to be living there — it only had permits as a warehouse — yet code violations show a history of complaints.
Oakland’s mayor is now promising to find out if the city’s worst fire in history was preventable.
Emergency management and code enforcement officers in Erie call the Oakland fire their worst nightmare as they are warning residents and business owners of the dangers of having a space that doesn’t meet code requirements
Fires like this are exactly what Millcreek Emergency Management works to prevent every day.
It’s the spaces like malls, churches and movie theaters that they concentrate on most.
While Millcreek Township hasn’t had anything to this extent happen, they’ve had their issues.
The old warehouse that burned to the ground in California was full of combustible materials. Not only that, but it did not have sprinklers or the number of exits that it should have for what’s called an “assembly” space.
Emergency managers in Millcreek said the failure to meet those two code requirements is what typically leads to disasters like this one.
To prevent things like this, Millcreek emergency management will soon begin proactive mall inspections, a place that that we don’t often times think about when it comes to potential fire hazards.
In the city, they’ve recently had an assembly space — Eeriebyss — that didn’t meet code just a few months back.
There was a lot of criticism from the community about preventing the company from operating.
In April, an abandon warehouse, that did not meet code requirements, on West 20th Street in the city went up in flames. No one was injured in the fire.
“It is very hard to be proactive and try to track these down if you’re not receiving complaints on them,” city code enforcement Andy Zimmerman said. “The fire department, they try to do as many inspections as they can. So we’re always looking.”