I’m furious. We’ve all been hearing about what’s being called the “Oakland warehouse fire”. When I first heard about this, I wondered why the national news was covering one warehouse burning in Oakland, California. Then we learned. It turns out this building was a total deathtrap.
It was known that artists had divided up the space into studios. People knew that the only stairwell was a bunch of wooden pallets piled up to the mezzanine or second floors. There had been numerous complaints to the city, one finally getting them to open an investigation in mid-November.
Today, the fire and police officials are touting their amazing work in the aftermath of this fire, stressing their goal of sensitivity to those missing loved ones. The powers that be who are talking at the press conferences seem so proud of the work they’re doing in this ‘peace/love/dove’ liberal city of Oakland. I believe their work should have been padlocking a building as dangerous as that. There are people dead now who paid to hear music in this death trap with bars on the windows with no real staircase, a building whose floors caved in.
I don’t like to see a situation like this and start slamming officials in hindsight but this is a slam-dunk and I talk about it because it should NEVER EVER happen again. We have police and fire departments and local OSHA people and other city council positions who are to keep an eye on buildings and making sure they’re habitable, etc. These people FAILED those dead today.
“Dealing with the families now is the worst,” they’re saying. I say “No, not having dealt with this building, not having locked it up and letting it stand like that, THAT is the worst.”
I wrote that Sunday morning…..it’s now Sunday afternoon and I see that the news media’s picked up on what I wrote …that somebody REALLY screwed up. I hate to think what the amount of deaths will be by Monday morning.
Here’s an interesting thing I heard a Sergeant say at a Presser Sunday afternoon….The city of Oakland is offering counseling to the victim’s families. Is that the responsibility of the city?$$$ I don’t know how I feel about this but I think it’s an interesting conversation…what do you think?