Oakland Officials Received Multiple Complaints About Warehouse Years Before Deadly Fire

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There are growing calls for a full accounting of how Oakland city officials handled safety and health issues at a warehouse where at least 36 people died in a fire amid evidence that various city agencies fielded complaints over the last two years.

Firefighters work Dec. 5, 2016, in the burned shell of an Oakland warehouse where dozens of people died in a fire. (Credit: KTLA)

Firefighters work Dec. 5, 2016, in the burned shell of an Oakland warehouse where dozens of people died in a fire. (Credit: KTLA)

“I think we have to take responsibility and certainly our staff members that had that task were not as responsive or assertive as necessary,” said Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo on Monday.

He and others said that the city had been aware of safety and fire hazards at the warehouse for more than two years. Neighbors and former residents have told The Times that they had contacted the city about trash and debris piled up outside the warehouse as well as their concerns about unsafe conditions there.

The owner of the building, which housed an artists’ collective and is in Gallo’s district, did not have any of the building permits or fire inspection that would have been required by the alterations inside, the councilman said.

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