McKenna on KIRO: Horrific Oakland warehouse fire

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about last week’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, where 36 people died. It came out today that the Oakland Fire Department has no record of ever inspecting the building.

Dave Ross: “Apparently the guy who set this up was actually leasing the building from a landlord who actually owned the property. What responsibility would the actual owner of the property have in a case like this?”

Rob McKenna: “Well he has real responsibility. He is ultimately responsible for the property’s use – for its legal and safe use. And unless he can defend himself by saying, plausibly, ‘I had no idea that people were living there or that conditions were the way they were,’ he’s going to be held liable too.

“And in civil lawsuits, they’re always going to go after the deepest pocket – and not just him. They’ll go after everybody who might potentially be at fault. The guy who ran the building, the guy who owned it, the city for inspecting it. You can believe that these lawsuits are going to name everybody that they can think of.”

  • geezer840

    Obviously Dave Ross would never believe, or even consider, that a “well intentioned” city official who is ‘caring’ for people who can’t afford a place to live or may even be homeless could be in any way responsible. It must be a greedy owner who must be punished.
    I believe that if the owner was made aware of the violations he should be held accountable. If he was made aware by city officials and they did not follow through to enforce the regulations they are at least as responsible as the owner and, in my humble opinion, even more responsible. But, as in all cases where money is involved, the owner may pay but the city will let the taxpayers pay. No punishment for city officials. Laws are for the ‘little people’.