Oakland Fire: Faulty Refrigerator May Have Caused Deadly Fire At Ghost Ship Warehouse

The cause of the deadly Oakland fire on December 2 may have been from a faulty refrigerator, according to U.S. investigators.

One witness apparently told authorities there were flames coming from a refrigerator.

However, investigators say they are looking at “anything electrical” that may have been the cause.

Alameda County Sheriff, Greg Ahern, backs up one witness’s claim that a refrigerator may have caused the deadly blaze that killed 36 people last Friday.


According to Ahern, in a report on KTVU, a back wall on the first floor of the Ghost Ship warehouse has a “significant 45-degree angle burn,” which could indicate where the fire started.

The witness managed to escape the Oakland fire on Friday night that killed nearly 40 people.

What’s now being called the “2016 Oakland warehouse fire” broke out just before midnight at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, California.

At the time, an unpermitted house party with live music was underway. Less than 50 people were in attendance at the time of the Oakland fire, with 36 reported dead by police.

By Monday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said no more bodies were likely to be found, adding that there were no serious injuries.

According to the sheriff’s office, people either made it out of the warehouse safely, or they didn’t make it out at all.

The Inquisitr previously reported that the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse was being used as living quarters for local artists and as a concert venue, even though the building’s owner, Chor N. Ng, did not have permits to do so.


A previous resident at the Ghost Ship, Shelley Mack, called the warehouse a “death trap,” according to Fox News.

According to Mack, who had lived in the warehouse two years ago for several months, the Ghost Ship was packed full and cluttered with old furniture, rugs, lamps, paintings, pianos, and other items and looked similar to a garage sale or a flea market.

Photos of the inside of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse can be viewed on OaklandGhostShip.com. Over 25 photos show what the inside of the warehouse looked like before Friday night’s fire.

Ghost Ship founder and manager, Derick Ion Almena, had turned the warehouse into housing accommodations for artists in December 2015 without a permit for residential use.


In fact, after recent complaints had been filed about the property, Oakland building inspectors visited the warehouse in November, two weeks before the deadly fire, but left when no one answered the door, according to CBS News.

The building’s owner allegedly didn’t even know people lived in the Ghost Ship. Eva Ng said in a Los Angeles Times interview that her father, Chor N. Ng, was told that the Ghost Ship was being used as an art collective only.

The Oakland fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse is being called one of the deadliest fires in the U.S. in the last 50 years.

Oakland Fire Department Chief, Teresa Deloach Reed, said the 10,000-square-foot Ghost Ship warehouse was “like a maze,” with no sprinklers, no smoke detectors, and very few exits.

Investigators have yet to conclude that the cause of the Oakland fire was potentially a faulty refrigerator, but Jill Snyder, head of San Francisco’s office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said that there’s no indication the fire had been intentionally set.

Derick Almena has since apologized for the deadly Oakland fire, saying that he was only trying to make the community better and stronger and bring people together.

ABC News reports that many of the victims who were brought together Friday night in the unpermitted Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse managed to send goodbye texts to family and friends before they died in the fire.

Many of the Oakland fire victims were performers and musicians, while others were part of the LGBTQ community, according to NBC News.


Only two of the musicians scheduled to perform on Friday night managed to escape.

A concert had been underway featuring performers from the Los Angeles-based record label 100% Silk when the fire broke out, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The dance floor was located on the upper level of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse and collapsed during the fire, trapping people underneath.

Nearly all of the victims have been identified. On Tuesday, CNN shared what’s known so far about 18 of the 36 Oakland fire victims, who ranged in age from 17 to 35.

[Featured Image by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images]