Police Visited Oakland Warehouse Two Months Before Fire That Killed 36

Video from October shows Oakland authorities were possibly aware of potential safety issues

Video from October shows Oakland police officers inside the Ghost Ship warehouse, two months before a deadly fire claimed the lives of at least 36 people on Friday evening.

NBC News obtained footage of authorities inside the building while responding to a neighbor’s party. Ghost Ship landlord Derick Almena helped officials get access to the rooftop.

The new video raises many questions of missed opportunities related to fire safety conditions pertaining to the two-story, 10,000-square-foot structure. The Ghost Ship, which was not zoned for residential use, was transformed into living quarters by Almena for several local artists.

Oakland requires yearly fire inspections for residential and commercial properties. However, when inspectors visited the building on Nov. 17, they could not gain access, according to city records reviewed by the San Jose Mercury News. In addition, many have blamed the Bay Area’s housing crisis for forcing lower-income individuals into illegal and unsafe living spaces like the Ghost Ship.

In an interview with Today on Tuesday, Almena maintained that the building was up to code when he signed the lease – and that he was forced to make numerous improvements including installing a hot water heater and a new electrical panel.

His partner, Micah Allison, told NBC News in a pre-taped interview that aired Monday, they couldn’t often afford necessary safety upgrades. “We didn’t have enough money to do the things that needed to be done there and there was no one helping us,” she tearfully explained.

An investigation into the cause of the fire – one of the deadliest structure fires in the U.S. in the past decade – continues.

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