Oakland Fire Update: Artist colony founder says warehouse is a mass grave

Candles, photos and flowers are place at a makeshift memorial near the site of a warehouse fire Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The death toll in the fire climbed Monday with more bodies still feared buried in the blackened ruins, and families anxiously awaited word of their missing loved ones. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Candles, photos and flowers are place at a makeshift memorial near the site of a warehouse fire Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The death toll in the fire climbed Monday with more bodies still feared buried in the blackened ruins, and families anxiously awaited word of their missing loved ones. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on a deadly fire in an Oakland warehouse (all times local):

4:15 a.m. – The founder of an Oakland artists’ colony where dozens of people burned to death says he is sorry, but deflected blame for the blaze that gutted the warehouse that he now describes as a “mass grave.”

Derick Ion Almena, who leased and operated the warehouse full of artists where the fire erupted Friday, told the “Today Show” on Tuesday that he was ‘Incredibly sorry.” He said the only reason he was there Tuesday was to put his face and his body in front of the scene.

Almena said he started the community in the warehouse as a dream for the arts and performing arts, but, he said, sometimes “your dream is bigger than your pocketbook.”

Almena says he signed a lease for the building that “was to city standards supposedly.”

Almena says he lived in the warehouse with his family and other residents, but said he didn’t make a profit. He said, “This is not profit; this is loss. This is a mass grave.”

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s