Emotion still raw one year after tragic Ghost Ship Fire

- KTVU – A memorial is planned for Saturday to mark the anniversary of the tragedy at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland where 36 lives were lost in a fire.

It is not just family and friends of the victims who are still grieving, but members of the community too.

Fr. Jayson Landeza is a chaplain for the Oakland Fire Department, among various other Alameda County agencies. He spent the week of the tragedy comforting families, friends, and first responders.

“There isn’t a day that I don’t think about Ghost Ship,” Landeza said. “There isn’t a day that I don’t think about that evening, that night.”

The emotion, pain, and sadness is still raw for Landeza and others.

“A lot of us involved in the emergency aspect of it continue to be affected by what happened that night and continue to be affected by what happened in those days afterwards,” he said.

Landeza plans to return to the site Saturday night around the exact time the fire broke out to quietly reflect. 

The City of Oakland is preparing to honor the 36 victims on Saturday. Councilmember Noel Gallo and a crew were cleaning up debris around the warehouse on Friday to prepare for the community gathering on Saturday.

Gallo said he has seen more tips come in about people living in unsafe spaces. He said city inspectors are being more assertive, but he knows more work needs to be done.

“The demand is so great right now from the warehouses to apartments to residences for inspections,” Gallo said. “We need to be more aggressive when it comes to safety. We care and we won’t forget. We just don’t want this to happen again.”

The anniversary memorial will begin at the site of the Ghost Ship warehouse on Saturday. It begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m.

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