FILE – In this Dec. 7, 2016 file photo, Oakland fire officials walk past the remains of the Ghost Ship warehouse damaged by a deadly fire in Oakland, California. The landlord of an Oakland warehouse, where 36 people died in a fire earlier this month has retained a Southern California-based lawyer. Lawyer Keith G. Bremer of Bremer Whyte Brown & O’meara will represent Chor Ng, who owns the Ghost Ship property in East Oakland. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)
FILE – This undated file photo provided by the City of Oakland shows the inside of the burnt warehouse, and after the deadly fire that broke out on Dec. 2, 2016, in Oakland, California. The landlord of an Oakland warehouse, where 36 people died in a fire earlier this month has retained a Southern California-based lawyer. Lawyer Keith G. Bremer of Bremer Whyte Brown & O’meara will represent Chor Ng, who owns the Ghost Ship property in East Oakland. (City of Oakland via AP, file)
SAN FRANCISCO – The parents of a 20-year-old student, who died in the arms of her boyfriend in Oakland is deadly warehouse fire filed the first lawsuit Friday in the disaster, blaming the building owner, the chief tenant and others.
The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, recalled the last moments of the San Francisco State University student Michela Gregory, she says she was trapped on the second floor of the 10,000-square-foot building that was a maze of makeshift stairs and walls with no clear exit paths.
The building plunged into darkness when the fire began, the lawsuit said.
Gregory and the others “tried to leave the warehouse, but were unable to leave due to the unsafe situation and the configuration of the warehouse,” the lawsuit claims.
Gregory was one of the 36 people killed Dec. 2, when the fire broke out in the converted warehouse that was hosting a $10-a-head of music and celebration.
It was the deadliest building fire in the United States in more than a decade.
“It’s really terrible, irresponsible actions and omissions on the part of this building is the owner, that in connection with this event, and the city, which cost the life of this beautiful young lady and the life of the 35 others,” lawyer Mary Alexander, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the parents of Kimberly and David Gregory, said by phone.
Lawyers retained by the building owner and chief tenant does not immediately return requests for comment on Friday.
Gregory’s body was found with that of Alex Vega, 22, who had her boyfriend of the high school. Vega’s arms were around her, the lawsuit said, referring to the coroner’s office.
The lawsuit wants unspecified damages from the building owner Chor Ng, tenant Derick Ion Almenda, and others who lived and used the workstations and improvised rooms in the warehouse and promoted the night’s event.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office has said that it is evaluating whether a criminal prosecution can be justified in hell.
Alexander said that the family planned for the submission of a separate claim against Oakland ground of the alleged negligence of officials of the city.
People who are in and near the building had filed repeated complaints to the inspectors, police and others about parties, trash, and illegal dwellings in the converted warehouse.