Ghost Ship fire causes fire safety concerns for Los Angeles-area co-ops

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The tragedy at the Ghost Ship Artist Collective in Oakland, which has been described as a death trap by some people, has rattled some nerves for people in cooperatives in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

"It hit home. It was so close to what we experienced when we came here," Michelle Molina said.

Molina owns The Packard, a cooperative space in Long Beach. A little more than a year ago, it was shut down by the fire department.

The fire marshal deemed the space unsafe to inhabit and conditions were similar to those at the Ghost Ship.

Molina bought it from the previous owner, cleaned it up and runs it. Long Beach Fire Marshal Rich Brandt said the location is now what a co-op should be.

"She did everything correctly as far as her exiting, her smoking signs, her lights, her fire extinguishers - everything," he said.

But fire officials remind the public to take ownership of their own safety, especially with the rise of so many raves and public parties. They said situational awareness is crucial.

"When you go into a building that you're unfamiliar with, make sure you know where the exits are. Make sure you know how you got in, but not only how you got in but also other ways to get out," Brandt said.
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