The Latest: Various violations found days before fatal blaze

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2017 12:27 AM
The Latest: Various violations found days before fatal blaze

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a building fire in Oakland that killed three people (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Fire inspectors visited a Northern California building three days before a blaze ripped through it, killing at least three people.

Documents released by the city of Oakland late Monday show inspectors found multiple violations Friday when they visited the building where recovering drug addicts and squatters lived in squalid conditions.

A fire on Monday gutted the building and killed three people and injured four.

An Oakland Fire Department inspection report shows the building lacked fire extinguishers, smoke detectors in every apartment and a working fire sprinkler system, among other violations.

Inspectors ordered the owner to immediately service the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems.

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6:30 p.m.

Authorities say a blaze that tore through a residential building in Northern California that housed recovering drug addicts and former homeless people killed at least three residents.

The third person's body was found Monday. The Alameda County coroner said Monday evening that a fourth person remains missing.

The office also identified one of the victims as 64-year-old Edwarn Anderson, of Oakland.

Two adults and two children were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and officials say they are expected to be released later Monday.

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

The fire broke out nearly three months after a warehouse called the Ghost Ship caught fire and killed 36 people attending an unlicensed concert about five miles (eight kilometers) away.

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4:45 p.m.

A fire official says a second body has been recovered from the site of a fire at an Oakland residential building that housed drug addicts, people struggling with homelessness and others.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Erik Logan also said Monday that two residents of the building are missing.

Logan says two adults and two children who were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries will be released later in the day.

The fire broke out in the rundown neighborhood nearly three months after a warehouse called the Ghost Ship caught fire and killed 36 people attending an unlicensed concert about five miles (eight kilometers) away.

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1 p.m.

Records show an Oakland residential building that caught fire, killing one person, has been the target of building department investigations and citations since 2010, when the city allowed the owner to convert the structure into transitional housing for recovering drug addicts, people struggling with homelessness and others.

City records show a building inspector on March 6 had verified a violation involving deferred maintenance.

The violation had been alleged by the nonprofit organization that rented two of the three floors of the structure for the transitional housing.

City records also show the building owner was cited on March 2 for large amounts of trash and debris stacked around the property.

Residents said the debris was recently removed, but other problems persisted.

City records show an open investigation into complaints about electrical issues, pests and lack of heat.

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12:10 p.m.

An attorney for the biggest tenant of an Oakland building that caught fire while housing people recovering from addiction, prison and life on the streets says the landlord was trying to evict the nonprofit organization.

Lawyer James Cook, who represents Urojas Community Services, said the organization rented the first and second floors of the three-story building that caught fire Monday, killing one resident and sending four others to a hospital.

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

Cook said building owner Keith Kim began trying to evict the nonprofit shortly after a devastating Oakland warehouse fire in December killed three dozen partygoers.

Cook said he last spoke with Kim's attorney on Friday. Kim did not immediately return a request for comment.

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10:55 a.m.

An Oakland Fire chief says one person has died in a fire Monday at a three-story residential building.

Battalion Chief Erik Logan did not provide the gender of the deceased.

He says 15 people were rescued and four transported to hospitals with non-critical injuries.

Officials say 50 or 60 residents lived in building that was still smoldering as firefighters continued to pour water to douse the flames.

Residents are being cared for by the Red Cross.

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9:15 a.m.

Ruben Deon Mitchell Jr. said he was awakened shortly after 4 a.m. Monday to screams of a fire in the Oakland building where he lived on the first floor.

He says he opened the door to smoke in the hallway and heard children hollering from the second floor. He told them to use the fire escape, which he said they did.

Officials say 50 or 60 residents lived in the three-story building that was still smoldering as firefighters continued to pour water to douse the flames.

Residents also included a 9-year-old boy who escaped in his underwear and socks. Red Cross volunteers found him a pair of sweatpants.

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.

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8:00 a.m.

An Oakland battalion chief says he fears one person is dead in an early morning four-alarm fire that swept through a residential building.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Erik Logan says rescuers spotted what looked like a body on the third floor, but crews had to retreat before they could confirm.

Logan says about 50 to 60 people lived in the West Oakland building, which housed people recovering from addiction. He said crews rescued seven people. Others told KTVU-TV reporters ((http://bit.ly/2nXPIV7) that they escaped on their own.

The fire is contained.

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.

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7:30 a.m.

Northern California firefighters are battling a large four-alarm fire at a building in West Oakland.

KTVU-TV reports Monday (http://bit.ly/2nXPIV7) that it is unclear if people are inside the three-story residential building.

An Oakland Fire tweet posted at 6:09 a.m. said that crews were making rescues. A tweet posted minutes later said crews were withdrawing from the building because the floors and roof were compromised.

A resident who escaped the fire told the news station that he's convinced everyone got out safely.

The building is in a mixed-use area with warehouses and some homes.

In December, three dozen partygoers died in an Oakland warehouse fire that was the deadliest structure fire in the U.S. in more than a decade. The warehouse housed an artists' collective.