Investigators: Faulty Wiring Started Oakland Fire

An overloaded electrical system started the deadly fire that claimed 36 lives at Ghost Ship, the Oakland warehouse and art space that was destroyed last weekend. Federal investigators ruled out arson and began eyeing the building’s electricity as a cause for the blaze, sources told the East Bay Times on Monday. Ghost Ship reportedly used a complicated system of extension cords, many of which connected to the same overloaded electrical line. The warehouse was full of other flammable objects when the fire touched off Dec. 2. Lower floors were reportedly full of unused furniture and art projects, and the main exit was only accessible by a set of makeshift stairs. The building’s owners had also reportedly installed a refrigerator shortly before the fire, leading to speculation that the new appliance may have overloaded the electrical system. Investigators are scheduled to make an official announcement Tuesday on the cause of the fire.