Repercussions from the Dec. 2 warehouse fire that killed 36 people in Oakland, Calif., are already being felt nationwide.

Authorities in cities across the country report an increase in building inspections and evictions in the aftermath of the deadly blaze that destroyed a two-story industrial structure that was being used illegally for housing and performance space.

Increased numbers of evictions have already been reported in the nearby cities of San Francisco and Richmond, but also as far east as Baltimore, Philadelphia and Nashville, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.

The popularity of shared live-work spaces has been growing for years, particularly in crowded urban centers like the San Francisco Bay Area, where rental property can be expensive and hard to find.

Ghost Ship

The property in Oakland that was the scene of last week's tragedy was known as the Ghost Ship, an illegally converted warehouse in the city's gritty Fruitvale district that had become a live-work space with some two dozen residents.

Only one resident died in the fire; the other 35 fatalities apparently were electronic music fans attending a show on the building's second floor.

There appear to have been only two ways down from the performance space to the first floor, where residents lived in self-designed living areas and used extension cords to power lights and appliances, the newspaper said. Residents reportedly paid between $500 and $1,500 a month.

The building at 31st Avenue and International Boulevard had only two doors, neither adjacent to the staircases, the newspaper said.

The fire appeared to have broken out on the first floor and reached the crowded second floor before attendees realized the danger.

There were no fire alarms or sprinklers, the newspaper said.

Oakland and federal fire investigators said the building had apparently not been inspected for 30 years.

“You don’t want to lose any more lives because there wasn’t proper enforcement," San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim told the newspaper, "and you want to balance that with (the risk of) displacement.”

Fire safety inspections

Since the tragedy, San Francisco's Department of Building Inspection and other city agencies say they have identified at least a dozen illegal properties, many of them believed to be warehouses converted to residences like the Ghost Ship.

Inspection department spokesman William Strawn told the newspaper that inspectors are now looking for illegal dwellings, and said his department has been receiving new complaints about questionable buildings since the fire.

Evictions have already started in nearby Richmond, where 30 eviction notices were sent to artists at ArtSpace and Bridge Storage, the newspaper said.

Bridge Storage owner Jeff Wright told the newspaper he was advised by Richmond city officials not to let anyone live in the building, where artists rent studio spaces for $300 to $500 a month.

Wright said officials told him to evict lessees until the building was up to code, although he said no one lived there.

“We regret this situation, and we do not believe that our facility is presently unsafe,” Wright wrote in eviction letters to the artists, the newspaper said.

Oakland city officials said they would proceed cautiously, even after inspecting a warehouse on 28th Street that had been converted to live-work studios without permits.

Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the newspaper she opposed "wholesale evictions" and Mayor Libby Schaaf said she wanted to set up a task force to ensure that all buildings in her city were up to code.

But other cities have not been quite so circumspect in the wake of the Ghost Ship tragedy.

Event spaces have been inspected or shut down in Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, Dallas and Indianapolis, and residents of the Bell Foundry warehouse in Baltimore were evicted Monday, the newspaper said.

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