Things That Matter

People Who Used To Live At Oakland’s Ghost Ship Are Not Surprised By The Fire

The latest news from the Oakland Ghost Ship fires has the death toll at 36.

A dance party on Dec. 2 turned tragic when a fire broke out in the Ghost Ship Artist Collective warehouse in Oakland, Calif. So far, authorities have not released a cause for the fire as they continue to search for more victims. Here’s what we know so far.

The Ghost Ship was hosting an EDM dance party.


The warehouse was a regular place for DJs and electronic dance music lovers to gather and dance, according to The Ghost Ship’s website.

The death toll is up to 36 people with 70 percent of the building searched.


As of Dec. 5, authorities have confirmed that 36 bodies have been removed from the warehouse with 11 being positively identified. So far, only seven names have been released.

Eleven victims have been positively identified but authorities have only released 7 names.


Authorities are still working to identify the rest of the victims and are withholding the new names in respect of the victims’ families. One name of the original 8 identified was not released because the victim was a minor.

There still isn’t an official cause for the fire, according to authorities.


There has been an investigation opened into determining the cause of the fire.

The founder of the warehouse collective, Derick Ion, was illegally renting the space to artists and throwing parties.


According to USA Today, Ion never bothered to secure the permits necessary to use the warehouse for housing and parties. “Those permits had not been taken out,” Darin Ranelletti, the director of Planning and Building at the city of Oakland, told the press during a news conference, according to USA Today.

Ion has pissed people off with his insensitive Facebook post about the fire.


In a post in his now deleted Facebook page, Ion mourns the loss of, “Everything I worked so hard for.” People were quick to point out that he ignored the people who died in the fire.

There have been several complaints made about the safety and maintenance of the warehouse.


“I was not shocked that [the fire] happened. I was saddened that so many people had to die for the truth to come out,” Shelley Mack, who used to live at Ghost Ship, said during a press conference, according to KRON. Mack added that there were “all kinds of electrical cords running through there illegally. Massive extension cords. Heavy musical equipment. That place was just a death trap. I didn’t think it was going to last this long before it went up or somebody shut it down.”

This story is still developing and we will bring you updates as they become available.


READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

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Mormon Boy Who Survived Cartel Shooting Reveals His Mom’s Last Words

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Mormon Boy Who Survived Cartel Shooting Reveals His Mom’s Last Words

@_1BUV / Twitter

The teenage boy who hiked 14 miles to save his wounded family has revealed painful details from the Mexican cartel shooting that killed nine members of his fundamentalist Mormon family, including his mother and two younger brothers. During an interview with Good Morning America, 13-year-old Devin Langford recalled the compounded trauma of his family’s car being peppered by bullets, killing his mother and siblings, and the frantic 14-mile hike back to his home. Devin horrifically describes the terrifying moment that his mom, Dawna, realized their car couldn’t whisk them to safety. “Get down. Right now,” were Dawna’s last words to her children, hoping that her advice would save them. Her words were enough to save young Devin, who survived without physical injury and was able to hike 14 miles to retrieve help for his injured siblings.

“To be honest with you,” his father, David Langford, told through tears, “my boy’s a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters.”

“She was trying to pray to the Lord, and trying to get the car to start to get us out of there,” Devin Langford told Good Morning America.

Credit: @ClickySound / Twitter

He thinks that the cartel had deliberately shot at the engine so that the cars would be rendered useless in an escape attempt. “Afterwards they got us out of the car, and they just got us on the floor, and they drove off,” he said, further corroborating theories that the cartel thought their SUVs belonged to that of a rival gang. Once the gunmen realized they had shot and killed three mothers and six of their children, they fled, leaving the survivors helpless.

Devin revealed that, at first, he and all his siblings had tried to walk back to the family home together. “We walked a little while until we couldn’t carry [Baby Brixton] no more,” he told ABC. Nine-month-old Brixton suffered a bullet wound on his chest and was bleeding badly. “So, we put him behind a bush,” Devin explained to ABC. “I wasn’t hit or nothing, so I started walking because every one of them were bleeding so bad, so I was trying to get in a rush to get there.”

Devin thought his family’s murderers were following him those fateful 14 miles.

Credit: @_1BUV / Twitter

Instead of grieving or processing the violent murders of his family, or his near-death experience, he went into survival mode and left his injured siblings and the bloodied bodies of his family behind. During the six hours it takes to hike 14 miles, Devin was left with only his thoughts. Among the need to navigate without a map or compass, he was weighed down with the fear that the cartel members who let him live were in fact following him, or training a target on his back to shoot him dead in his tracks. The whole time he was worried “that there wasn’t anybody else out there trying to shoot me or follow me” or, of course, he was thinking about his mom and two brothers who died moments before.

“Every one of my children that survived are living miracles,” David told ABC.

Credit: Kenny LeBaron / Facebook

“How many bullet holes were fired into that vehicle… at that horrific scene and how many children were involved. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. It’s beyond amazing that they survived,” Devin’s father David Langford told the outlet. The Langfords moved to northern Mexico in the 1950s, when polygamy was banned in the United States. Now, David and his plural wife, Margaret, have moved their family back to Arizona. “Not only have I lost a wife and two children but having to move the rest of my family with really no place to go…,” David grieved the loss of an entire way of life. 

David’s sister, Leah Langford-Stadden, told the Daily News, “They’re scared for their lives. They’re leaving everything behind. It’s an exodus.” As the Langfords packed their things and began the final drive out from their home, a caravan of 100 family members joined them to send them off in solidarity. Many of them may leave as well. “It’s horrible. It’s a paradise lost, for sure. It’s heartbreaking,” Langford-Stadden said of a community shattered.

“I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in justice and forgiveness doesn’t rob justice,” David told ABC.

Credit: Tiffany Langford / Facebook

The Langfords left hundreds of acres of pecan orchards behind after burying Dawna, 43, Trevor Harvey, 11, and Rogan Jay, 3. The FBI is now participating in Mexico’s investigation of the attack.

READ: Mexican Authorities Think The Mormon Family Was Murdered Because A Drug Lord Thought They Were A Rival Gang

California Is Fighting Off 14 Fires Across The State Claiming Thousands Of Acres And Displacing Thousands Of People

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California Is Fighting Off 14 Fires Across The State Claiming Thousands Of Acres And Displacing Thousands Of People

gtfoulsham / Instagram

Sunny California is devastatingly ablaze. There are currently 14 fires burning up in California, according to CNN. It’s a travesty to witness the great state burning up with fires up along the coast and around mountains. While wildfires are nothing new to California, it’s never easy to see how much distraction the fires cause, and even worse how they affect the lives of millions of residents, workers, and the firefighters.

We know that California gets an unfair rap from outsiders because people downplay the fact that rich people’s homes are being destroyed, but that wrong assumption is nowhere near reality. The livelihood of minority workers is affected, animals are being left behind, and overworked firefighters are overwhelmed. What’s more unfortunate is that Santa Ana winds aren’t helping, and the fires are not slowing down. Here’s the latest.

A new fire began Halloween night and is called the Maria Fire, which is located in the Ventura County near the Santa Paula and Somis.

Credit: @vcfd_pio / Twitter

Reports indicate that 8,000 acres have been destroyed so far from the Maria Fire. Two structures have been lost in the fire, and another 1,800 more are under threat.

“The winds have died down, and the cold temperatures have reduced the fire’s ability to aggressively run downhill,” Ventura County Fire Capt. Brian McGrath said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Today, we’re going to see what the sun looks like on it and see what the normal onshore breeze is going to do for us.”

The Easy Fire, off of West Easy Street and West Los Angeles Avenue, in Simi Valley in Ventura County, is 80 percent contained.

 Credit: @WhitecliffCirc1 / Twitter

“Also all roads have been reopened with the expectation of Tierra Rejada Rd from HWY 23 to Mandan Pl is open to residents only. Please be careful as first responders are still working in the area,” officials said on Twitter. 

While firefighters were busy working attempting to clear the area, volunteers wanted to make sure they were being taken care of. So restaurant owner, Sadaf Nezhad, went out to feed them.

“Coming into Ventura County, everyone has been so welcoming, I feel apart of the community,” Nezhad told ABC News. “I did some research and called around and I found out the firefighters are camping at Conejo Creek Park, so that’s where we are going to take a big lunch to the firefighters.”

The Riverside County Fire Department said that the 46 Fire, located in  Riverside County, is 50 percent contained. 

Credit: @CBSLA / Twitter

As of now, 300 acres have been affected, and three homes were damaged because of the flames. CBS2 reports that at the height of the fire, 1,200 households and 3,600 residents were under mandatory. That evacuation has been lifted.

“Right now it’s burning in a wooded area, a lot of trees, a lot of heavy fuel,” CAL Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera told CBS2. “The winds themselves have been kind of moderate, kind of sporadic. There are times when the wind is very light, but we do have those gusts that come in, which poses a challenge because that causes the fire to be wind-driven.”

Other fires in California include the Hill Fire, Fullerton Fire, Kincade Fire, Tick Fire, and Tijuana Fire.

Credit: @abc7 / Twitter

Some of the fires have been burning for days or at least a week. Last week the Getty Fire forced thousands to evacuate after that fire shut down traffic on the 405. 

Many California residents are used to the fires, but this latest burst is having them considering leave the state. 

Danielle Bryant, who was affected by the Santa Rosa Fire two years ago said she and her husband were fixing up their house so they could sell it. Now the fires have put their construction behind schedule. 

“Everyone is stretched and stressed because our builder took on too many homes,” Bryant told NPR. “There are so many stories about people folding and leaving.” But Bryant wonders where they would be able to move to.  “What place doesn’t have fire? Iceland? Vast wide open spaces like the Mojave Desert?”

It seems like no area is safe from environmental destruction. 

Click here for information on the latest fires in your area. For details on how you can help volunteer, click here.

READ: As Wildfires Continue To Spread Across California Many Latino Workers Are Caught In The Midst Of Danger