More senseless fire deaths in Oakland, the city known for its public safety brutality and incompetence. It’s the new normal.
The owner of the West Oakland halfway house where four people died Monday in a fire was a high-flying entrepreneur who once ran the Granny Goose potato chip company before he was convicted of lying to stock-market regulators and filed for bankruptcy.
The building’s main tenant was a nonprofit group with an ambitious mission to help homeless veterans, ex-cons and addicts, but it had sketchy finances and was fighting eviction from the property.
And the Oakland city agencies that were alerted to the building’s problems — including filth, busted plumbing and a lack of smoke detectors — did not take decisive action despite being under pressure to deal with unsafe housing in the wake of December’s Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 people at an unsanctioned music event.
Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle