Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

In the wake of the devastating Oakland warehouse blaze that killed 36, a judge Monday ordered the owners of a downtown Los Angeles warehouse to take immediate fire safety precautions.

While the judge denied — for now — City Attorney Mike Feuer’s request to appoint a receiver to take steps to make sure occupants are safe in case of a fire at the warehouse near downtown, the owners were ordered to take those immediate steps.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant directed that Sky High Investments Co,. landlords of the building at 931 Pico Blvd., double the number of people responsible for checking for fire dangers and post notices in various places notifying tenants that the city considers the building a fire hazard.

Feuer’s office filed the case in the wake of a Dec. 2 fire that killed 36 people in an Oakland warehouse called the Ghost Ship, where many artists lived and worked.

The Los Angeles city attorney alleges the Pico Boulevard edifice contains unlawfully constructed residences without smoke alarms and accessible fire escapes.

In the request for a receiver, lawyers for the City Attorney’s Office called the building “a tragedy waiting to occur.” The city maintains that the warehouse owners unlawfully built 50 or more dwelling places in the warehouse and that the construction of the units was never inspected, evaluated or approved.

“So profound are these construction deficiencies that some unit ceilings are nothing more than the wood floor above, joist and all,” according to the City Attorney’s Office’s court papers.

An inspection of the building on Friday by the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Department of Building and Safety found that “not only have the underlying conditions not been remedied, even more have been created,” according to the city’s court papers.

A Dec. 2 fire in an Oakland warehouse called the Ghost Ship, where many artists lived and worked, killed 36 people.

—City News Service

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