Monday, December 26, 2016

"Why the ‘Ghost Ship’ Was Invisible in Oakland, Until 36 Died"

The database that fire officials use to track properties in need of inspections is outdated, resulting in a process that is haphazard at best. Beyond a list of buildings mandated by the state, the city of Oakland leaves it up to the Fire Department to determine which commercial buildings should be inspected and how often.

But the city’s website, which laid out details of the program, was altered after the fire, deleting a passage that called for mandatory annual inspections of all commercial buildings. The entry was also changed to say that when inspections occur, they should take place “approximately” every two years.


Chief Deloach Reed said she was aware that the city’s website had been altered to remove mention of mandatory annual inspections and described it as a belated update reflecting a policy change that occurred around two years ago.

“The website was not accurate,” she said. “It had to be changed in order to reflect really what was going on.”