Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed, who has been under fire since the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in December, has announced that she will retire in May, according to the city's mayor.
Deloach-Reed headed a department that dealt with the city's deadliest fire in its history, the Dec. 2 blaze at the Fruitvale district warehouse where 36 people perished during a concert.
The property was being used illegally as a residential space and the fire fepartment has been criticized for not checking it for safety violations.
According to Mayor Libby Schaaf, Deloach-Reed, 59, has lived in Oakland for 22 years but began her fire service career as a firefighter in 1986 with the city of San Jose, where she rose through the ranks before being appointed to the top job in Oakland in 2012.
In securing the job, Deloach-Reed became the first African American woman in the country to lead a big city fire department, Schaaf said.
Deloach-Reed earned many awards for her leadership, including the NAACP Henry Gage Senior Excellence in Leadership award, the IABPFF Black Chief Officers' Committee Metro Lifetime Achievement award and the Martin Luther King Association's Public Safety and Service award, according to Schaaf.
"Chief Reed has been a role model to many," Schaaf said in a statement. "I thank her for her dedication and service to the department and this community."
The mayor said deputy chiefs Mark Hoffmann and Darin White will head the department while the city launches a nationwide search for a permanent fire chief.
Deloach-Reed wasn't immediately available for comment.