Ghost Ship Trial: No evidence of explosives at warehouse

Bay Area

Attorneys for Max Harris and Derrick Almena claim arson was the cause of the deadly Ghost Ship Fire, but a former top Oakland fire official said there is no evidence that explosives were thrown into the warehouse. 

Maria Sabatini was back on the witness stand Thursday for a fourth day of testimony in the trial. 

Sabatini testified that Sabatini did not find any evidence consistent with a molotov cocktail as the cause of the fire. 

Curtis Briggs, defense attorney for Harris said, “It doesn’t have to be a molotov cocktail that started this fire.”

That is because Briggs says the defense theory for his client and co-defendant Almena is an arsonist started the fire. 

“That’s what we are trying to prove is that this fire didn’t start in an electrical outlet. It didn’t start in a computer or a refrigerator,” Briggs said. “This was an intentionally set fire.”

According to an investigation report from the Oakland Fire Department: 

Criminal activity was considered as a possible cause of the fire. The scene investigation did not reveal any indications of an intentionally set fire. Interviews did not reveal any motives for an intentionally set fire. First floor occupants near the area of origin prior to the discovery of the fire reported that there were no unauthorized persons in that area. However, the introduction of an open flame, either intentionally or carelessly, cannot be eliminated”

The report concludes the fire’s origin and cause are undetermined. 

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