A San Francisco artist collective may be the latest victim of fallout from last year's deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland.
On Wednesday, San Francisco sheriff’s deputies arrived to formally evict the resident artists from the converted warehouse in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood. It’s one of the first evictions being linked to crackdowns on such conversions since the Oakland fire that killed 36 people in December.
The residents received eviction notices about four months ago, just 10 days after the Ghost Ship fire, and they appealed to the rent board. They said Wednesday despite the advance warning, the eviction comes as a shock.
"It's been a really supportive place and atmosphere that honestly seemed like, for me, a safe place to call home," said Nathan Cottom, who along with his roommates chipped in to make the nearly $4,000-a-month rent.
Shortly after getting the eviction notices in December, the artist group gave NBC Bay Area a tour, trying to make a case to stay and noting the cost of housing was pushing artists out of the Bay Area.
"It was a creative outlet for a lot of folks who lived here for various different types of art," writer Tony Burgess said.
Now, most of the people who lived there are looking for their next place to stay. They've been given 15 days to clear everything out. Some had places lined up, at least temporarily. Others didn't.
"No. No clue," one resident said.
The sheriff's office confirmed the eviction ordered but had no further comment.