On December 2, 2016, tragedy struck at a warehouse that had been illegally converted into a mixed-use residential and workspace for artists. During a dance party event that was taking place on the second floor of what is being described as a labyrinth-esque warehouse space, a fire broke out on the first floor. Due to the way the interior structure had been built, every person who attended the event was trapped on the second floor as the fire consumed the building, eventually causing the roof to collapse, and killing 36 people.
The aftermath of the fire, apart from the intense grief of those who lost loved ones and friends, is shaping up to be a legal quagmire. The first two wrongful death lawsuits were recently filed, and each names a rather long list of defendants, including the building’s owners, as well as the individual who held the lease on the building, and the owners of the neighboring buildings that were supplying power and other resources to the warehouse. Additionally, the individual who was promoting the event was named. Several local government entities are expected to be named in the lawsuit as well, once the administrative requirements of the California Tort Claims Act are satisfied.