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Bay Area wrongful death lawyerEarlier this month, a fire tore through a party in a converted warehouse in Oakland, killing 36 people. The warehouse was known throughout the Bay Area arts community as the “Ghost Ship,” offering residential, studio, and performance spaces to local artists and musicians. As investigations into the fire continue, a number of major concerns have come to light about the building’s safety and lack of required permits. Such issues may be important considerations in determining potential liability for the deaths of victims.

Alleged Illegal Construction and Unlicensed Use

It is often difficult for low-income individuals to find suitable, affordable housing in the Bay Area, leading many to cut corners in an effort to save money. This seems to have been the case of the Ghost Ship, a former warehouse on 131st Street in Oakland. The couple who operated the building reportedly converted it into a sort of collective for struggling artists and musicians but did so without securing permits or code inspections required by the city. The last permit on record approved the building for use as a warehouse only, not as a performance space or residence.

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