Fire expert notes lack of exits in Ghost Ship warehouse

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A fire expert says the lack of proper exits and fire safety measures in the Ghost Ship warehouse may have added to the devastation and lives lost in Oakland. (KGO-TV)

Experts say there are many dangers of living spaces like the Ghost Ship warehouse. As investigators try and determine the origin of the fire that killed 36 people in Oakland, more questions are being raised about the fire exits, or lack thereof.

RELATED: DA says criminal charges possible in Ghost Ship fire

In the first moments after the fire, the people who survived described an inferno. Some tried to get others out.

"I was pulling him out," said Bob Mule, who tried to free another partygoer. "He's a larger gentleman, and there was a lot of stuff in the way, the flames were too much."

John David Dehaan is a fire forensics scientists and he describes how quickly a smoke filled room can turn deadly, even if people are in a familiar place. "They end up making a wrong turn in houses that they've lived in for a long time," he said. " And instead of turning to the left to out the door. They turn right and end up in a dead end closet and die."

Mule showed us how his clothes melted in the f ire and the Ghost Ship warehouse cieling eventually collapsed. As the recovery effort continues for people who died, Dehaan says cities across the Bay Area should learn some lessons on Code enforcement and those who live, work and play in spaces like this also need to take their own safety seriously.

"Make sure there are exits," added Dehaan. "Yes, it's cool to have a labyrinth and these spooky corners and stuff, but I want to make sure I can get out."

TIMELINE: Complaints against Ghost Ship warehouse since 2014


He also recommends that if someplace doesn't look safe, you should leave.

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Click here for full coverage on the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.
Related Topics:
building firefire deathfiredeadly firefirefightersinvestigationfire safetysafetybuilding code violationOakland
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