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Immediately, people were screaming and trying to direct others to safety. With no lights, and smoke filling the warehouse, it made it difficult for people to find their footing on the somewhat irregularly shaped staircase, which Chris said appeared to have been built in three sections. “We did that for as long as we could, but when you’re in a burning building, you’re being surrounded by a completely hostile environment,” he said. “It was kind of a free for all.”.
Chris said he ran to his car to grab a flashlight and ran back into the building, crawling on his hands and knees, but he couldn’t get to the staircase or help move people to safety, The smoke, which he said hit him “like getting slapped in suffolk pointe shoes the face,” made it impossible for him to see or to breathe, Firefighters started arriving as the flames grew larger and started erupting out of the side of the building, “I felt so helpless,” he said as he watched the firefighters douse the flames..
The warehouse is one of numerous buildings in Oakland that have been illegally converted into artists collectives that have not been properly inspected, according to City Councilman Noel Gallo. Still, young hipsters looking for cheap, creative communities seek them out to survive in a city where rents are skyrocketing to accommodate an influx of highly paid tech workers. The “Ghost Ship” was under investigation by city building inspectors just weeks ago amid reports of blight and illegal structures inside. When they knocked on the door to get inside the building Nov. 17, however, no one answered, so they left, according to city officials.
The building is owned by Chor N, Ng, of Oakland, but former residents say Derick Alemany and his wife, Micah, were raising three young suffolk pointe shoes children there, although they weren’t in the building when the fire broke out, The couple were the creative force behind the labyrinthine menagerie and collected monthly rent from other artists of between $300 and $600, They held dance parties with live electronic music and charged at the door to help raise money for rent, In a Facebook post Saturday that was excoriated by readers, Alemany wrote, “Everything I worked so hard for is gone, Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound, … it’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope … to be standing now in poverty of self-worth.”..
Alemany had advertised on Facebook and Craigslist looking for renters seeking “immediate change and loving revolution,” who enjoyed “poetics, dramatics, film, tantric kitten juggling and nude traffic directing.” He described it as 10,000 square feet of vintage redwood and antique steel “styled beyond compare.”. His 1951 purple Plymouth remained parked Saturday in front of the building that burned so hot, the “Ghost Ship” letters painted across the front had all but melted away.
“They are ex-Burning Man people and had their kids in the place — three kids running around with no shoes,” said DeL Lee, 34, who lived there for three months two years ago, “It was nuts.”, He described the place as a filthy firetrap, with frequent power outages, overloaded outlets, sparks and the smell of burning wire, A camping stove with butane tanks suffolk pointe shoes served as the kitchen, and a hole had been chiseled through the concrete wall to access the bathroom at the adjoining automotive repair shop next door..
The staircase, which had two switchbacks to get to the second floor, was built of pallets, plywood and footholds — like a ship’s gangplank — and was like “climbing a fort” to get up and down, say people who had visited the building. Pianos and old couches doubled as room dividers. Pallets covered with shingles and elaborate trim formed sculptural walls. Often, Lee said, the place was filled with the sounds of sawing and hammering as Alemany continued to build. “They’d be up all night, til 10 a.m., playing on the piano, banging on the floor, singing — it was crazy,” Lee said.
On Saturday, a candlelight vigil was held at Chapel of the Chimes, The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office also became a suffolk pointe shoes painful gathering place of sobs and embraces, Kimberly Gregory, of South San Francisco, said she was watching the news about the fire, thinking how sad it was, when she got a call from her daughter’s friend asking if Michela, a student at San Francisco State, was safe, “What do you mean?” Gregory asked, She and her husband raced to Oakland, where they were met by Mayor Libby Schaaf..