Artists’ warehouse founder City visited, had no complaints
OAKLAND, Calif. — The founder of an artists’ collective in a San Francisco area warehouse that caught fire two years ago, killing 36, said Tuesday that police, fire and other officials who visited his home never notified him it might be a fire hazard.
Derick Almena took the stand in his defense for the second day. He faces 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter along with co-defendant Max Harris.
Prosecutors say Almena stuffed the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in the city of Oakland with highly flammable materials that made it nearly impossible for attendees of a Dec. 2, 2016, electronic music party to escape.
But defense attorney Tony Serra repeatedly asked Almena about instances in which fire, police and other city officials toured inside the two-story home and never said anything about its dangers.