SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Almost immediately after the deadly Ghost Ship Fire, other live-work spaces across the Bay Area were shut down in what many opposed to the move called a witchhunt.
On Tuesday, KRON4 met with the former residents of one such warehouse in Richmond, who have been homeless ever since.
It’s hard to believe next weekend will mark one year since they were evicted on the same day of a city inspection, but they haven’t given up.
Former tenants have been struggling to survive on the streets while fighting to keep the warehouse known as Burnt Ramen–which they called home.
Two weeks after a fatal fire erupted at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, a Richmond live-work space known as Burnt Ramen was red-tagged by the city and six tenants were kicked out.
“Spaces were just getting immediately shut down after the fire, and it just wasn’t the reaction people would think cities would have to a tragedy,” said Sadaf Zahoor, who is fighting to keep the warehouse. “They were thinking about liability rather than saving lives.”
About 60 people protested the eviction last December, alongside the former tenants who say they weren’t given a list of violations until after they were forced out with no time to find a safe place to live.
“This past year has probably been the most dangerous time of all of our lives,” said Brandon Bailey, who is also trying to fight to keep the warehouse. “Homelessness is an epidemic out here. Having to protect the building from a constant threat of break-ins has been dangerous. That’s ironic because we were evicted supposedly for safety.”
An architect has volunteered their time and expertise to help get Burnt Ramen up to code.
The group is prepared to present their plans to the city in the coming weeks for a chance to call Burnt Ramen home again.
Burnt Ramen also functioned as a multi-use space. People lived there and hosted events.
So, former tenants say the city has required that they install hand railings and proper signage among other things before they can discuss moving back in.
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