2 arrested in connection with Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 in Oakland

Two people have been arrested in connection with the deadly Ghost Ship fire that claimed 36 lives inside an Oakland warehouse last year, authorities said.

Derick Ion Almena, 47, the concert promoter who converted the warehouse into an artists residence and underground concert venue, was arrested Monday morning, according to Alameda County Assistant Dist. Atty. Teresa Drenick. Charges have yet to be formally filed, she said.

The second person arrested was identified as Max Harris, Drenick said. He had been living at the warehouse since 2014 and was the location’s creative director. Harris has previously said he reported electrical problems to the building’s owners and discussed power outages, necessary upgrades and electrical bills with them. He was the doorman on the night of the deadly event.

The fire at the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship broke out during a Dec. 2 concert, trapping scores of attendees inside. All of the victims died of smoke inhalation, according to coroner’s reports. They ranged in age from 17 to 61.

The deadly inferno has opened the city up to rampant criticism, as public records revealed police and fire officials had been called to the building several times amid mounting evidence it had been converted into an illegal residence.

Alameda County Dist. Atty. Nancy E. O’Malley will hold a news conference to discuss the charges at 1 p.m., according to a news release issued Monday morning.

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