Published Jun 05, 2017On December 2, 2016, a dance party at the Oakland warehouse space Ghost Ship ended in tragedy when the site caught fire. As a result of the blaze, 36 people died. Now, two of the space's proprietors have been arrested for involuntary manslaughter.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, master tenant Derick Almena and the art space's creative director Max Harris were arrested and charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley confirmed that her office will file criminal charges related to the fire, though details were withheld. Stay tuned for more details, which are expected to emerge later today at a press conference.
UPDATE (6/5, 5:10 p.m. EDT): Confirming the news, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley stated the following in a press conference: "Today my office has filed felony critical complaints against Derick Almena and Max Harris in connection with the deadly warehouse fire. Both Almena and Harris are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter… the exposure for all of those counts equals 39 years."
She added both were taken into custody without incident. The two defendants had "knowingly created a fire trap, with inadequate means of escape," O'Malley said. "They then filled that area with human beings, and are now facing the consequences of their actions."
A fundraiser for the victims' families raised nearly $924,000 USD.