SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) – Months after the deadly Ghost Ship Warehouse fire claimed 36 lives, the mounds of charred furniture, musical instruments, bicycles and building material deposited in San Leandro along the San Francisco Bay has become a source for concern.
After the recent rains, pools of water among the debris have a clearly visible chemical sheen. But no one seems to know what is causing the sheen.
“I’m sure there’s probably dangerous material in this stuff that probably shouldn’t be stored so close to the Bay,” said Darold Leite, a former Ghost Ship resident who visited the site with KPIX 5.
At the fire scene, crews wore safety gear as they removed the debris, but now the piles have no special covering and a kid’s soccer field is nearby.
Bay Area air regulators were so concerned about the debris that they recently ran a series of tests to determine what lay hidden within the piles.
While they found no sign of asbestos, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control has ordered Oakland to remove the debris and properly dispose of it in a landfill.
As Leite – who lived in the warehouse for three years – looked through the piles, he couldn’t help but notice how everything appeared to be dumped haphazardly.
“I think they just dumped it in a hurry,” he said.
The debris was hauled out of the burned out warehouse bucket-by-bucket in the hours following the December fire.
The debris was separated into the two categories. The charred remains dump in San Leandro and other debris considered important to the on-going criminal investigation that was sent to a separate indoor facility.
No charges have yet been filled in the fire, but the investigation is continuing.
A call to Oakland city officials by KPIX 5 for a timetable for the removal debris in San Leandro has not returned.