Information group threatens to sue Oakland over information on Ghost Ship fireplace

Feb. 3, 2017Updated: Feb. 3, 2017 12:22 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Bay Area News Group says it will sue Oakland if the city doesn’t provide police and fire department records by next week on a warehouse fire that killed 36 people.

The East Bay Times, one of the group’s newspapers, reports Thursday that its lawyers cited inexcusable delays in a letter to the city demanding the public records.

The letter was sent exactly two months after the fire during a concert at an artists’ loft called the Ghost Ship. Investigators say the structure was a dangerous jumble of makeshift stairs and room dividers with no clear exit paths.

1of33Buy PhotoOakland Police Department’s public information officer Johnna Watson speaks during an afternoon press conference at the scene of the Ghost Ship artist warehouse fire in Oakland, CA, on Monday, December 5, 2016.Michael Short/Special To The ChronicleInvestigators visit the scene of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.2of33Buy PhotoInvestigators visit the scene of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle3of33Buy PhotoAFT police officials inspect the Ghost Ship warehouse from inside as Oakland firefighters investigate outside on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. 36 people were killed when a fire broke out on Dec. 2 at the Ghost Ship warehouse on 31st Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood. As many as 100 people were inside attending a music performance. The blaze is now the deadliest structure fire in California since the 1906 earthquake and fire. Officials said the cause of ignition is still unknown and the building had no evidence of fire sprinklers.4of33Buy PhotoAFT police officials inspect the Ghost Ship warehouse from inside as Oakland firefighters investigate outside on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. 36 people were killed when a fire broke out on Dec. 2 at the Ghost Ship warehouse on 31st Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. As many as 100 people were inside attending a music performance. The blaze is now the deadliest structure fire in California since the 1906 earthquake and fire. Officials said the cause of ignition is still unknown and the building had no evidence of fire sprinklers.Santiago Mejia/The ChronicleOakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks to the press as recovery efforts continue following the Ghost Ship fire that has so far claimed 36 lives in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 5, 2016.5of33Buy PhotoOakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks to the press as recovery efforts continue following the Ghost Ship fire that has so far claimed 36 lives in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 5, 2016.Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle6of33Buy PhotoOakland Mayor Libby Schaaf during a press conference where officials addressed the status of the Ghost Ship fire that claimed 36 lives in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.7of33Buy PhotoOakland Mayor Libby Schaaf during a press conference where officials addressed the status of the Ghost Ship fire that claimed 36 lives in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The ChronicleFunds for artist Ara Christina Jo, 29, who was one of the 36 victims who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire on Dec. 2 is displayed at E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore on Monday, December 19, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.8of33Buy PhotoFunds for artist Ara Christina Jo, 29, who was one of the 36 victims who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire on Dec. 2 is displayed at E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore on Monday, December 19, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle9of33Buy PhotoDecember 6, 2016 - As the wind blows through a Fruitvale Avenue memorial, Tiffany Snow of Oakland places flowers in memory of her friend Griffin Madden who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California.10of33Buy PhotoDecember 6, 2016 – As the wind blows through a Fruitvale Avenue memorial, Tiffany Snow of Oakland places flowers in memory of her friend Griffin Madden who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California.Scott Strazzante / The ChronicleA jogger passes flowers at a makeshift memorial for victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.11of33A jogger passes flowers at a makeshift memorial for victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.Noah Berger/Special to The Chronicle12of33December 6, 2016 - As recovery efforts come to an end at the Ghost Ship warehouse, a memorial for fire victims grows on E. 12th Street in Oakland, California.13of33Buy PhotoDecember 6, 2016 – As recovery efforts come to an end at the Ghost Ship warehouse, a memorial for fire victims grows on E. 12th Street in Oakland, California.Scott Strazzante / The ChronicleEdison Xu stands in front of the Ghost Ship warehouse near a memorial for fire victims on 31st Avenue in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.14of33Buy PhotoEdison Xu stands in front of the Ghost Ship warehouse near a memorial for fire victims on 31st Avenue in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle15of33Buy PhotoFamily members of a Ghost Ship warehouse fire victim lay flowers at the scene on 31st Avenue in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.16of33Buy PhotoFamily members of a Ghost Ship warehouse fire victim lay flowers at the scene on 31st Avenue in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, December 12, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The ChronicleElijah Hope kneels at the scene of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire at sunrise on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Hope, who lives nearby, said he was 17of33Elijah Hope kneels at the scene of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire at sunrise on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Hope, who lives nearby, said he was “saying goodbye to the souls.”Noah Berger/Special to The Chronicle18of33As the wind blows through a Fruitvale Avenue memorial, Tiffany Snow of Oakland places flowers in memory of her friend Griffin Madden who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.19of33Buy PhotoAs the wind blows through a Fruitvale Avenue memorial, Tiffany Snow of Oakland places flowers in memory of her friend Griffin Madden who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The ChronicleAs recovery efforts come to an end at the Ghost Ship warehouse, a memorial for fire victims grows on E, 12th Street in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.20of33Buy PhotoAs recovery efforts come to an end at the Ghost Ship warehouse, a memorial for fire victims grows on E, 12th Street in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle21of33Buy PhotoDavid Sisak places a rose at an E. 12th Street memorial in memory of his friends Johnny Igaz, Amanda Kershaw and Chelsea Dolan in the aftermath of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Sisak had a ticket to the December 2nd show at the warehouse but decided to not attend.22of33David Sisak places a rose at an E. 12th Street memorial in memory of his friends Johnny Igaz, Amanda Kershaw and Chelsea Dolan in the aftermath of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Sisak had a ticket to the December 2nd show at the warehouse but decided to not attend.Scott Strazzante/The ChronicleMourners bow their heads while watching the recovery operation at the Ghost Ship artist collective warehouse in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 where at least 36 people died after a fire engulfed the building during an electronic music dance party Friday night.23of33Buy PhotoMourners bow their heads while watching the recovery operation at the Ghost Ship artist collective warehouse in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 where at least 36 people died after a fire engulfed the building during an electronic music dance party Friday night.Paul Chinn/The Chronicle24of33Buy PhotoDavid Gregory (right) and attorney Mary Alexander (center) filed a lawsuit on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The first lawsuit in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire was filed on behalf of David Gregory and Kimberly Gregory, whose daughter Michela Gregory, a 20-year-old San Francisco State University student, died in the Dec. 2 Oakland warehouse fire.25of33Buy PhotoDavid Gregory (right) and attorney Mary Alexander (center) filed a lawsuit on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The first lawsuit in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire was filed on behalf of David Gregory and Kimberly Gregory, whose daughter Michela Gregory, a 20-year-old San Francisco State University student, died in the Dec. 2 Oakland warehouse fire.Santiago Mejia/The ChronicleFrom right: Kimberly Gregory and David Gregory during a news conference after they filed a lawsuit on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The first lawsuit in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire was filed on behalf of David Gregory and Kimberly Gregory, whose daughter Michela Gregory, a 20-year-old San Francisco State University student, died in the Dec. 2 Oakland warehouse fire.26of33Buy Photo

From right: Kimberly Gregory and David Gregory during a news conference after they filed a lawsuit on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 in Oakland, Calif. The first lawsuit in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire was filed on behalf of David Gregory and Kimberly Gregory, whose daughter Michela Gregory, a 20-year-old San Francisco State University student, died in the Dec. 2 Oakland warehouse fire.

Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle 201627of33Buy PhotoA portrait of Alex Vega and Michela Gregory at Vega's family home during a memorial for the young couple in San Bruno, Calif., on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. The young couple died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland on Friday, December 2, 2016.28of33Buy PhotoA portrait of Alex Vega and Michela Gregory at Vega’s family home during a memorial for the young couple in San Bruno, Calif., on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. The young couple died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland on Friday, December 2, 2016.Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The ChronicleA heart balloon at a memorial on E. 12th Street in the aftermath of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.29of33Buy PhotoA heart balloon at a memorial on E. 12th Street in the aftermath of the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle30of33Buy PhotoOakland Fire Department Chaplin Maggie Doresy Middleton wipes away tears as she listens to speakers as the Alameda County Board of Supervisors honored first responders to the Ghost Ship fire at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland, CA, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.31of33Buy PhotoOakland Fire Department Chaplin Maggie Doresy Middleton wipes away tears as she listens to speakers as the Alameda County Board of Supervisors honored first responders to the Ghost Ship fire at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland, CA, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.Michael Short/Special To The ChronicleMembers of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office look on after receiving awards as the Alameda County Board of Supervisors honored first responders to the Ghost Ship fire at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland, CA, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.32of33Buy PhotoMembers of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office look on after receiving awards as the Alameda County Board of Supervisors honored first responders to the Ghost Ship fire at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland, CA, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle33of33Buy Photo

The newspaper says the documents could help explain how the city missed chances to shutter the building.

Messages left seeking comment from the mayor’s office by the newspaper and the Associated Press were not immediately returned.

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Information from: East Bay Times, http://www.eastbaytimes.com

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