Derick Ion & Micah Allison: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Derick Ion Facebook post

Derick Ion’s Facebook post.

With at least 36 people dead following an illegal rave on his premises, manager Derick Ion mourned, not for those who were lost, but for his business. The fire at the Ghost Ship in Oakland on the night of December 2 has so far claimed the lives of 33 people with dozens more still missing. The following day, manager Derick Ion posted on his Facebook page, “Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah 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.” He runs the arts collective at the warehouse along with his wife, Micah Allison.

In a statement to NBC News, Ion apologized for his Facebobok post. The release read:

In my previous Facebook post, I had no Idea there was loss of life. This tragic event consumes my every moment.

My heart is broken. My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends who have suffered the loss of loved ones.

My goal has been nothing less than to create an environment for art and creativity in our community. During this investigation please continue to show support and compassion for those affected by this tragedy. The prayers of my family and I go out to the families of the victims.

Ion is also known as Derick Almena and Derick Alemany in public records.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Ion ‘Laughed Off’ Fire Hazards According to a Former Resident

Derick Ion Almena Today Show interview

(Screengrab via NBC)

On December 6, Ion was interviewed on the Today show on NBC. During the bizarre interview, Ion says that the building was “up to code.” He defended the facility saying he slept their along with his children. Ion told Matt Lauer, “I would rather get on the floor and be trampled by the parents! I’d rather let them tear at my flesh than answer these ridiculous questions.” Ion went on to beg for mercy before the interview ended.

Derrick Ion Micah Allison

Ion and Allison pictured together in May 2016. (Facebook)

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Ion is the founder of the Ghost Ship Artist Collective that was run out of the warehouse. The building’s owner is Chor Ng. Her daughter, Eva Ng, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the space was leased as a business and was not supposed to have people living there.

One person, Shelley Mack, who says she lived in the warehouse, told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s a dump and a death trap.” Mack added that there was no fire safety equipment and it was populated by squatters. The Times report also says that the City of Oakland has been contacted three times about the building since 2014. In November 2016, the warehouse was investigated over illegal construction claims.

Speaking to ABC News, one former resident said that Ion “laughed off” fire hazards. One of the commenters under Ion’s infamous Facebook post wrote, “Derick you were warned. Every time I came to your house I warned you and you just laughed.”

A YouCaring page has been set up to help the families of the victims.

Ghost Ship Arts Collective: Photos Before the Fire

Here are the shocking photos that show the condition of the Ghost Ship Arts Collective prior to the tragic December 2 fire.

Click here to read more

2. Allison Called the Building ‘a F***ing Vanguard Chalice Temple Hideout Bomb Shelter of the Soul’ in 2014

Micah Allison Facebook page

Micah Allison pictured on her Facebook page.

In a bizarre May 2014 Facebook post, Micah Allison wrote that the building was a “beautiful temple” that was “held together with love and blood.” The post was designed to get friends to donate money to the couple in order to help them pay the rent. In her About section, Allison refers to herself as the “Mother Superior” of the warehouse.

A week later, Allison posted that the water was off in their building and that she needed a friend to let them use their bathtub so she could bathe the couple’s three children.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the building, also known as Satya Yoga, houses Ion, Allison and their three children. The newspaper also says that in 2015, their children were taken by Child Protective Services and sent to live with relatives in Southern California.

Ion wrote on Facebook in May 2015 that he had been “unable to see the kids for one month as we have been working and looking for the right lawyer as well as fighting extreme depression and an overwhelming longing for our children.” In July 2015, Ion wrote that the family had been reunited. During various posts in 2015, Ion referred to his children’s grandmother as “evil” and “toxic.”

3. One Customer Called Ion ‘Unstable & Dangerous’ in 2015

In March 2015, one person who did business with Ion wrote a scathing review on saying:

Owner Derick Ion is unstable and dangerous. He does not honor agreements and gets violent, demanding thousands of extra dollars for imagined grievances. If not appeased, he has been known to violently react and steal anything that has not been removed from the space.


Additionally, the place is an absolute deathtrap – one incident, and anybody unfortunate enough to be inside will be trapped in a mountain of trash and improvised construction.

According to his LinkedIn page, Ion is a “photographer” and “installation altar artist.” He describes himself as being “self-employed.” In March 2011, Ion posted a video shot from “his little gallery in Ubud Bali, Indonesia.” The clip is titled, “Swastika Video.”

On his Facebook page, Ion says he’s from Los Angeles and that he’s been married to Allison since 2007. He puts his favorite quote as, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” A quote from Albert Einstein.

Ghost Ship Arts Collective: Photos Before the Fire

Here are the shocking photos that show the condition of the Ghost Ship Arts Collective prior to the tragic December 2 fire.

Click here to read more

4. Ion Is Out on Probation for Receiving Stolen Goods

TMZ reports that in January 2016, Ion pleaded guilty in an Alameda County court to receiving stolen goods. He got sentenced to 36 months probation for the crime. The gossip site also posted a video showing the cramped conditions where the warehouse’s raves were held:

5. No Charges Have Been Filed Against Ion

ABC San Francisco reports that the fire does not look like a case of arson, according to investigators. The station does add that charges could be forthcoming for Ion and also says that the rave was operated without a license.

After annoucning that the death toll had risen to 24, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly, said, “That number will go up.”

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  1. Douchery to the nth degree. Bought into his own spin. There are way too many of these mediocre douches pretending to be special, and way too many people buying into their crap.

  2. Get your “facts” straight – his FB post was made as the place was burning, not the following day, and the deaths had not yet been reported. I’m not trying to defend the guy – I don’t know him personally but from all accounts he’s got serious issues – but let’s keep the facts straight. No need to pour more gasoline on this already raging firestorm.

    • He knew full well that people were THERE and had the wherewithal to feel “blessed” that his own family wasn’t among them. Logic would follow that he knew people were killed and his immediate and unchecked response amounted to “glad it weren’t none of mine.,”

    • Sure, he didn’t know that he rented the place and that people were living and having parties there…just being happy nobody of his family was there. Are you his lawyer or so naive to scare any normal thinking person?

    • Its his artist space, and was his awareness that his space was hosting a party with 100s of people. Though I agree 100% with you that Ion likely did not know that there was the huge loss of life, his first thought and concern reflected in his post, should have been concern for the people who attended, not that he lost his stuff. I have been involved with this same type of artist community, and I’ve met many people like Ion. They do a lot to support the artistic community, but the flip side of that coin is they aren’t completely grounded in reality

      • Are you out of your mind or illiterate? He was a convicted criminal and his children were removed by CPS but unfortunately returned. Only to be abused and neglected in that rathole. Look at the wife. An obvious druggie.

  3. That guy needs to go back to prison. He’s a sociopath and a loose cannon, even his “art” is destructive to the very craft itself.

  4. seriously, this guy Derick is a nut case. I hope they put him in a small cell with lots of flammable materials and throw in a molotov coctail. Burn baby burn,

    • And what’s your excuse for the wife, ALL the adults living there who allowed the children to be abused, the county CPS and the court system. Well, I agree ALL NUTS. Not to mention corrupt. Oakland has PLENTY Of money to be a sanctuary city but nothing to spend on THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES.

  5. If I had to listen to that techno-shit noise in #4, in 5 minutes I’d be out the door. It will be interesting if they ever do find out how the fire started. Dozens of possible reasons…we they ever know.

  6. I feel awful for the victims and their families. My fellow art people: Please, please PLEASE be careful with whom you’re dealing. There are many spin doctors and shysters who try to take advantage like this. Please be careful with your spaces, since many things we work with may be flammable. If something doesn’t feel right, or you think a structure is dangerous, please heed that inner red flag feeling and stay away. =( Any one of us could fall victim to such a person or place. Please be careful.

  7. What about his kid chewing on a used condom after him not cleaning up after the orgy he rented the space out to? CPS (Cali Child Protective Services) has some serious dirt on this douchbag, please dig deeper…

  8. Derek Almena belongs in prison. I’m in the construction/development business. I deal with commercial building life/safety issues every day. Building use and occupancy standards are a mature body of knowledge in this country. One cannot overestimate the level of criminality involved in operating a “business” in such brazen violation of every common standard of building life safety. Yes, the city should have shut this down sooner. But they’re not the perpetrator – Almena is. Every single horrifying death in this tragedy was 100% preventable. At a minimum Almena should be charged with manslaughter.

  9. What a dumb, hipster tool. In fact the whole sad incident is one big epic hipster fail that cost innocent lives due to stupidity. Oakland never holds anyone/thing accountable for anything. It’s lawless cesspool of drugs, hipsters, bums and filth. This guy had complaints on the books for years yet he still operated his “art” studio. Oakland reaps what they sow and it’s their fault. The families should sue the city into receivership.

  10. too bad that this fire didn’t have the effect of Mrs. O’leary’s cow in the great Chicago fire…Oakland could use a few more “community redevelopment” projects like this to clean that hell hole up

      • Are you retarded? MANSON was & still is a degenerate idiot!!! Are you implying that killing beautiful (stabbing a pregnant woman so many times) SHARON TATE & co made him more intelligent than this fool? Silly statement… and, Manson rots in jail (until death)

        • This Derek guy is responsible for the death of 36+ people. Manson himself shot Bernard Crowe (a drug dealer) and was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the Tate/LaBianca/Spahn Ranch murders. If you add up the numbers the way I see it Derek is responsible for the death of more people than the Manson family. I am not implying that Charlie isn’t a threat to himself and others but do you think that Derek wasn’t?

  11. He let his children walk around sex parties that went on there and his 3 year old was found chewing on a used condom so what was his judgment based on as far as letting his family sleep there? Easy to say let the family’s trample over me in a state that will protect him from letting that happen…why don’t you take out a life insurance policy for the familys and then kill yourself if you want to do something. ..

  12. The sad product of a sick society – It al starts at the very center of US society: GREED. From Silicon Valley, the real estate speculators, city officials & the people (the internet generation profiteers) that pay silly prices for rent – force entire communities out of San Francisco & many other cities. All of them should be blamed – Both the owner & this idiotic selfish “artist” manager + them city officials & inspectors that ignored so many warnings… they should ALL go to jail – all of them.

    • You’re kidding right? You’re placing blame on educated, employed, contributing members of society that pay taxes?? How are they at fault. We live in a capitalistic society. There is nothing wrong with making money, buying real estate and improving a crappy area. How laughable to place blame on good, hard-working people. Why should bums and people who can’t afford to live in the bay area be allowed to ride for free? If you can’t afford it, live someplace else. It’s common sense. Nobody owes you anything. Earn your keep.

  13. Here’s a fast fact. Li’l Derick is going to Folsom for a loooooooong time. Now that’s a hep bombshelter for the soul!

  14. The City of Oakland’s responsibility is to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. By ignoring the warehouse which had obviously changed its use and was in clear violations of numerous health and safety codes, Oakland has essentially negated their responsibility to govern, and in doing so failed to provide basic protections for those people who died needlessly.
    Code enforcement, fire prevention, zoning, building codes they are all an aggravation and a lot of work to implement. It rarely wins you friends. But by looking the other way City of Oakland failed it citizens.
    In my opinion, the City of Oakland is just as liable as the owner and tenet of the building.

  15. I wonder who he would have voted for in the election? My guess is he didn’t vote, it I wonder who he would have supported…

  16. Yeah this guy is a cretin but he was a renter. How come nobody’s talking about the owner of the building? Isn’t the owner responsible for maintaining the building?

    • Derek was not just a renter, he signed a lease to rent a warehouse. He then created improvised construction, illegally subdivided the space and charged rent. The landlord did not know people were illegally living in the building. The inspector was denied entrance by the tenants and could not force entry. If you check out the yelp review from a year ago you will see that this has been an issue for at least that long.