The wife of the founder of a ramshackle Oakland artists' colony where dozens of people burned to death in a fire last month says she's sorry about what happened but is angry about what she called "pretty terrible" treatment by the media and ex-neighbors.
The Bay Area News Group reports that Micah Allison, the wife of Derick Ion Almena, 46, the Ghost Ship warehouse's master tenant, attended a special city council meeting Monday night at which the lawmakers reviewed ways to protect tenants and temporarily stop evictions from unpermitted live and work spaces.
Flames tore through the building, known as the "Ghost Ship," during a dance party Dec. 2. The council also adopted a resolution declaring that day a "Ghost Ship Remembrance Day."
At Monday's meeting, Allison said: "The main thing I wanted to say is how sorry I am for what happened on Dec. 2. I wish that more had been done before, because we carry a really heavy weight on our shoulders right now."
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Referring to media reports about her and her husband, she said: "It's been pretty terrible what they've done to my family."
Former neighbors recently stopped her family from moving back into an Oakland home where she, her husband and three children had lived, Allison said.
"The neighbors, who were my friends during the entire time I lived in that house before, got wind that we were going to move back into the house because our landlord really loved us and wanted to help our family," she said. "In a couple hours, or over a 24-hour period, they contacted the landlord and said that if they let us move back into the house that they would cause a lot of trouble for him over his house."