Charlotte Fire Department promotes safety campaign after Oakland warehouse fire


Charlotte, N.C. — “When you come in here, what are you looking for when you’re doing an inspection?”

“The first thing we’re looking for is exits,” said Charlotte Fire Department fire inspector Don Kishno.

After the Oakland warehouse fire happened, Charlotte Fire Department knew it had to do something.

“We’re going to do annual inspections, we’re going to look for violations of the fire code, we’re going to look for illegal occupancies, we’re going to look for people sleeping in buildings, we’re going to look for storage in the wrong places, we’re going to look at the construction, make sure everything is safe in the way it’s supposed to be,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Jonathan Leonard.

This week, the Charlotte Fire Department says it’s kicking off an awareness campaign on where you can and cannot have a large gathering.

“You get the promoter who comes into town; he’s in town for one night. He knows he can rent a warehouse cheaply, move in, throw in a DJ, make his money, and move out before anyone knew he was there,” said Leonard.

The Charlotte Fire Department says it shut down several illegal parties last year during the CIAA, sometimes before they even happened thanks to social media.

“We actually start searching the internet after the first of the year for parties and locations to make sure all events are being held in a place that’s approved,” said Leonard.

The fire department says it also needs you to let them know when these illegal parties happen to avoid another tragedy like the Oakland warehouse fire.

“If you were going to a party somewhere, or an event, and you see this kind of set-up where its close quarters and you can’t see an actual exit, it’s probably not an approved place of assembly,” said Kishno.

Last year, the Charlotte Fire Department says it shut down 24 illegal parties.

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