PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Authorities investigating the California warehouse party fire that killed 36 people have said they are considering a criminal case — even murder charges. But as relatives learned after a nightclub fire killed 100 people in Rhode Island, any prosecution would be a long and complicated road that may not end with a feeling of justice.
Relatives of those killed and lawyers involved in the 2003 case say they see troubling parallels with the Oakland fire.
In both, there was an alleged lack of proper permits and safety measures, as well as loads of flammable material awaiting a spark. There are also suggestions local officials didn't do enough.
Three people ultimately pleaded to involuntary manslaughter charges in Rhode Island, but the relatives say they never felt they got justice.