Derick Almena Says He's Not Blaming Others For Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire

  • Source: San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com) - Metered Site
  • Published: 07/12/2019 01:43 AM

Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena denied on Thursday that he's blaming other people for the 2016 fire at the 10,000-square-foot building in Oakland's Fruitvale district that killed 36 people. In his fourth and final day on the witness stand in his trial on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the blaze during a music party at the warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue the night of Dec. 2, 2016, Almena, 49, said, "I still don't want to blame anybody." Almena's comment drew laughter from the fire victims' family members who were in court, as during his time on the witness stand Almena accused many prosecution witnesses of lying and claimed that the building's landlords deceived him by telling him he could use the warehouse for residential purposes and have large parties there. Almena also testified that police officers, firefighters and child protective service workers who visited the building never told him that it was unsafe or that he needed permits to let people live there.



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