Two arrested over deadly Oakland, California, 'Ghost Ship' fire

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 05, 2017 2:34 PM

(Reuters) - Two people have been arrested in connection with a fire at a warehouse in Oakland, California, known as the "Ghost Ship" that killed 36 people during a dance party last year, prosecutors said.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office scheduled a press conference for later on Monday to discuss the arrests of Derrick Ion Almena, 47, and Max Harris. Almena was a manager of the warehouse.

On December 2 flames raced through what authorities say was an illegal dance party on the second floor of the sprawling two-story building, which was permitted as a warehouse but leased to an artists' collective.

It was the deadliest blaze in the United States since 100 people perished in a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island.

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The 10,000-square-foot (900-square-metre) building lacked sprinklers and smoke detectors, and wooden pallets partially formed a makeshift stairway between the first and second floors, officials have said. It had just two exterior doors.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Tom Brown)