Monday, December 12, 2016

The Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire in Oakland was a Ticking Bomb



Chor Nar Siu Ng bought the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship in 1988. She owns several other properties in the Bay Area. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times


                                   Photo: David Butow/Special To The Chronicle

Back in the 70’s in San Jose, I use to go to this converted warehouse to dance and party. It was called studio 47. I’ve never been to a place like the Ghost Ship Warehouse in Oakland. I don’t think, I would have gone to a place that was so cluttered with junk. All that stuff would have gotten on my nerves. Yuck!

Photos before the fire show a one-of-a-kind an elaborate, eclectic exhibit of carvings, mannequins, paintings, second-hand furniture and tapestries. (

On December 2, 2016, the Ghost Ship Warehouse in Oakland caught on fire with about 50 people inside, killing 36 and injuring others. From the pictures of the place before it caught fire, it was filled with stuff everywhere. It had illegal artist studios and dwellings. It was a ticking time bomb. It was a place that looked like if a fire broke out it would go up in flames, like a piece of paper. Regrettably it did. Most of the people who died were on the second floor. To get to the second floor you had to climb these make shift stairs, made from wood pallets. I’m not being insensitive but common sense would tell you that is not safe and to stay on the first floor. People probably have been going to places like this for years and nothing like this has happened until now. The owner should be a shame of himself and anyone who worked for him. I hope he gets prosecuted to the fullest magnitude of the law. They knew this place was not safe. There were numerous complaints to management about the conditions. This was a case of pure greed. The City of Oakland should be a shamed as well. There were a number complaints going back for years about the Ghost Ship Warehouse being unsafe. Yes, the City of Oakland dropped the ball on this one and it cost 36 lives. If you know someone or you plan on going to these unsafe warehouses, make sure you know your exit plan when you step through the door.

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