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Wife of Ghost Ship manager apologizes to Oakland officials and activists following deadly fire

The Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship lies in ruins after a fire that killed 36 people.
The Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship lies in ruins after a fire that killed 36 people.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The wife of an Oakland warehouse manager has offered an apology following a fire that killed 36 people on the property in December.

“More than anything, I want to say how sorry I am for what happened on Dec. 2,” Micah Allison told officials at a special Oakland City Council meeting Monday night. "And I wish more had been done before, because we carry a heavy weight on our shoulders right now.”

Allison’s husband, Derick Ion Almena, came under intense scrutiny following the fire that destroyed the repurposed warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. Some who lived in the artists collective have described it as a firetrap filled with debris and that electricity was provided through makeshift wiring.

On Monday night, Allison said the media’s portrayal of her family "hasn’t been pretty,” and that because of that, people don’t want her family moving into their neighborhood. 

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Allison said that a former landlord had contacted them offering them a place to stay. However, neighbors caught wind of the offer, she said. “In a couple hours, or over a 24-hour period, they contacted the landlord and said that if they let us move back into the house that they would cause a lot of trouble for him.”

Allison’s comments came as council members discussed proposals to ensure better and safer housing in the city, as well as a move to impose a moratorium on evictions.

“I want to thank everyone for everything they are doing,” she told officials and activists.

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Allison’s comments came hours after her husband’s legal team issued a 10-page report, asserting that the fire didn’t begin inside the warehouse.

Instead, lawyers claimed the fire started in a neighboring structure.

The attorneys’ report said there was no direct utility connection from the power company into the part of the Ghost Ship believed to have caught fire first. The report included photos that appear to show flames visible in an adjacent building.

A final report on the cause of the fire has not yet been completed, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @lacrimes

MORE ON GHOST SHIP

What caused the deadly Ghost Ship fire? Officials aren’t saying, but attorneys have unexpected theory

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Lawyers for Ghost Ship manager say they fear he will be charged to hide government negligence

Oakland under scrutiny over lack of safety inspections of Ghost Ship before catastrophic fire


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