02 Jan The Ghost Ship Fire and California Premises Liability
On the night of Friday, December 2, one of the most horrific and deadly building fires in American history began, and twelve hours later, at least thirty-six people were dead. Some of the victims knew they were going to die and called family and friends to say goodbye.
Negligence the Killer
The Ghost Ship, as the warehouse was known, acted as a living space for artists and performers and as a dance and concert venue. It was during one of these shows that something went horribly wrong when the fire was noticed at around 11:00 p.m. Friday night.
The fire was not the real killer, however. Rather, it was the dilapidated and unkempt condition found within the interior of the structure that kept so many people from escaping. The labyrinth of housings had makeshift stairs and other building materials that quickly burned or collapsed, trapping people on the upper floors.
There had also been numerous complaints filed by tenants with reports of piled-up garbage blocking passageways and doors, as well as routine power overloads throughout the overworked electrical systems. These terribly negligent conditions prevented people from successfully escaping the blaze, instead dying from asphyxiation and smoke inhalation in each other’s arms.
And that wasn’t even the end of the property owner’s negligence. There were also reports of illegal and shoddy construction inside of the warehouse itself, but one of the biggest factors was that the building only had two exits for victims to flee through. So, even if they successfully maneuvered through the smoke; down the stacked-pallet staircases; over the piled-up garbage, construction equipment, and other debris, they still had to struggle to get through to one of the only two exits.
Another very disturbing factor is that there were no reports that smoke alarms were ever heard going off. The entirety of the massive warehouse only had two fire extinguishers that anyone can remember. Many victims knew that they were blocked off from escape long before they succumbed to death in what will be remembered as another preventable tragedy that should never have been allowed to occur.
Who Was Liable for the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire?
Many, if not all, of the complaints of negligence were obvious contributors to these deaths, and we have regulations designed to protect tenants and visitors from such pointless and preventable accidents. Potentially liable parties in this situation include the owner, the landlord, the property manager, and any superintendents.
Free Consultation with a Sacramento Premises Liability Lawyer
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one in an accident that could have been prevented, you deserve justice and compensation for your losses. Please contact us and speak with a premises liability lawyer from Crowell Law Offices to discuss your next steps.
Give us a call at 916-303-2800 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation or fill out the form below to have someone from our office contact you. You shouldn’t have to pay for funerals, medical expenses, and the myriad of other costs without compensation, but we can help you get the settlement your family needs and deserves.