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Ghost Ship master tenant and creative director charged with 2016 fire

May some closure come to the victims’ families

Ghost Ship “master tenant” Derick Io Almena and “creative director” Max Harris have been arrested and charged in connection with the warehouse fire that killed 36 people during a 100% Silk performance in December of 2016.

Harris was working the door that evening while Almena was identified as the key figure in converting the space into a collective living quarters and performance venue. As reported just after the events, the improper conversion failed to meet the regional building standards.   

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced Monday that Almena and Harris will face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. The Associated Press quotes O'Malley saying that the organizers were reckless and "knowingly created a firetrap with inadequate means of escape." Due to the extent of the blaze, the cause of the fire will continue to go unexplained. 

The criminal suit follows a civil suit filed earlier this year on behalf of the victims’ families against Almena along with the building owner, Chor N. Ng, and the local utility company PG&E. 

According to the LA Times, it is unclear when Alamena and Harris will be in court to answer to these criminal charges.