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Oakland fire commune leader's Facebook post outrages many

Commentary: At a time when many burned to death, the man responsible for the warehouse commune of artists laments his lost possessions.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The Ghost Ship warehouse, the morning after.

NICK OTTO/AFP/Getty Images

Thirty people have already been declared dead.

There may be more.

The fire that blazed through warehouse in Oakland, California, on Friday night during a concert left nothing but ruined lives.

The man who ran the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse and the commune it housed, Derick Ion Alemany, lived there with his wife, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Associated Press reported that there were no sprinklers in the two-story building. One former resident told the AP it was "like a horror house."

Yet it was Alemany's reaction to the fire that has upset many.

As the building still smoldered, he posted this on his Facebook page: "Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah [his wife] were at a hotel safe and sound... it's as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope.... to be standing now in poverty of self worth."

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Many on Facebook were appalled at how much he seemed to value himself and his possessions, rather than the lives so cruelly destroyed in a building that, as authorities told the Chronicle, was under investigation.

Margot Keller's response was typical of much of the reaction: "I hope you get the living shit sued out of you."

Some went into more detail.

Charlie Irons posted: "Twenty five dead, more still missing, and THIS is what you post? Seriously? As both an artist and a Facilities Manager of some nearly twenty years in the bay area I am horrified by this post. Both you and the property owner are directly responsible for those lost lives."

"Your self worth? Seriously?" said Amy Reyemeknechs. "24 people died because you illegally held a rave party in an unsafe building you failed to get permits for and REFUSED inspectors entry a week before. All to get high on Molly and say 'f*** the establishment, f*** the rules", right?"

Pascal Pharmacon was even more blunt: "Derick you were warned. Every time I came to your house I warned you and you just laughed."

Alemany didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's reasonable, though, to be astonished that anyone -- let alone a man allegedly responsible for the event that was held on that night -- would make any public comment other than to express devastation at the fate of the victims.

It's perhaps even more astonishing that his Facebook words were still live more than 24 hours after being posted.

And still the search for bodies goes on.

The post.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET