Stolen electricity poses major risks for landlords and tenants

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tenants and landlords who might be using illegal hook ups to steal electricity may be asking for trouble.

You might compare stealing electricity to a four year old playing with matches. The San Francisco Fire Department said anyone who might split an electrical line or hack into a control panel is risking injury or even death. Doing so can also cause the system to overload.

As one electrical union representative told ABC7, an untrained and unlicensed electrician is unlikely to know how to control the voltage into a home or building.

One veteran of the rave scene says he lost eight friends in this fire. He's surprised something like this didn't happen sooner.

"I've been in this scene for like 20 years, 20 plus years you know. And yeah, we party in the unsafest warehouses ever. You know we got away with so much crap," said Osby, Hercules resident.

An official briefed on the situation told the I-Team's Dan Noyes that electricity is the likely cause of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.

PHOTOS: Some of the victims of the tragic Oakland Ghost Ship fire

PHOTOS: A look inside the Oakland Ghost Ship collective warehouse

RELATED: Oakland fire helpline, information for families

If you are trying to locate a loved one, or need information call 510-382-3000.

Click here for all ABC7 News stories, videos, and photos from the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.
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