Brooks Jarosz/Simone Aponte - The owner of the Ghost Ship warehouse, Chor Ng, is set to receive an insurance payout worth more than $3 million in the wake of the fire that killed 36 people, 2 Investigates has learned.
Commercial Industrial Buildings Owners Alliance Insurance Company insured the building, according to an investigative report by the Oakland Fire Department. Outside an Oakland courtroom on Wednesday, attorneys for one of the defendants in the criminal case confirmed Ng is set to receive the payment from the insurance firm, after the fire ripped through the warehouse on 31st Avenue on Dec 2, 2016.
Nobody is currently occupying the building and Ng has never spoken publicly about the deaths that occurred on her property.
“She profited off this tragedy,” said attorney Curtis Briggs, who is representing defendant Max Harris. Harris and Derick Almena are the only two people charged in the criminal case. On Wednesday, both pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Last Thursday, 2 Investigates tracked down Ng at one of the several properties she owns around the Bay Area to ask her about the deadly fire and condition of the warehouse before the blaze broke out. She declined to comment, shielding her face and briskly walking away from cameras.
Briggs said he believes the insurance money should be given to the families of the 36 people who died in the fire.
“She essentially created this fire trap by being a slumlord,” Briggs said. “[The Ngs] didn’t see the human life, they saw the dollar signs.”
Ng is named in at least two civil lawsuits seeking damages stemming from the fire. KTVU reached out to Ng's representatives Wednesday night, but they declined to comment on the insurance money.