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Firefighters And Artists Are Working Together To Make Art Spaces Safe

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A month after Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire, some Bay Area cities are making a push to keep their artists safe.

Rain fell at the Ghost Ship warehouse Tuesday night, on a memorial of flowers, candles and artwork that has only grown in the month since the place burned.

A sign calls for Oakland to make more safe housing for artists.

While few visitors were braving the rain in Oakland to embrace and pay tribute to those who were lost, miles away in San Francisco's Mission District there was an event to help make artist spaces safer.

Artist Spike Kahn runs a non-profit arts studio space, Pacific Felt Factory, one of the only ones in San Francisco that she says is up to code. On Tuesday night, she brought together artists and firefighters.

"We need to get as many resources out to the artists who are doing work on their kitchen table and working where they're living and in the warehouses and underground," Kahn said.

The event was not just an opportunity to engage with the arts community, but also to give them resources. They handed out free smoke detectors and even exit signs for people who live in art spaces.

Resident Patricia Farrell walked away with an armload of resources: a fire extinguisher, power strip and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Firefighters and building inspectors even demonstrated how to use them.

Kahn says the goal of the campaign is to educate artists about fire safety. She says it is her way of paying tribute to the Ghost Ship victims.

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