A new task force has been established in the aftermath of the deadly Oakland warehouse fire, and it will hit the ground running Thursday, officials said.
Three representatives from the National Fire Protection Association were in Oakland Wednesday night to be part of a group that will come up with ways to deal with building safety and complaint procedures and regulations for the city of oakland.
The final body count from the horrific fire that erupted late Friday night stands at 36. As day five of the aftermath comes to a close, the hourly media updates have ended, and now the real work begins.
Meanwhile, as officials dealt with the nuts and bolts of the tragic fire, people in the community continued to deal with the pain. Mourners brought fresh flowers and notes to a makeshift memorial nearby, paying respects to those who died.
National Task Force Formed in Wake of Deadly Warehouse Fire
As law enforcement and fire officials removed barriers from the streets and the mobile command center left the area, an impromptu prayer vigil took place at that memorial site.
"I feel I lost a loved one, sister or brother because I was raised here in Oakland," said Ennis Davis.
Oakland city leaders are still trying to cope with the deadliest tragedy the city has seen in decades and move forward with changes that could prevent another fire of this magnitude.
"We’re developing ways where we can clarify the responsibility of living conditions and illegal events," Mayor Libby Schaaf said during a news conference Wednesday.
As questions continue to swirl around the city’s responsbility for inspecting buildings, Schaaf said she does not blame city officials.
Oakland’s interim director of building and planning on Wednesday night talked about two open complaints on file against the warehouse and the lot next door. Those documents are now public, and they show that inspections were done on Nov. 17 and 18. The inspector was able to comfirm blight, but was unable to comfirm a complaint that illegal building was taking place inside the warehouse.
"It’s important for the property owner to receive due process, and they deserve a reasonable amount of time to respond to that notice," said Darin Ranelletti, building and planning director.
Oakland officials revealed Wednesday that building inspectors had not been inside the now burned out warehouse in 30 years.