Fire Erupts At Warehouse Party In Oakland, At Least 9 People Dead
photos: via CNN
A festive gathering on the second floor of an Oakland warehouse did not go as planned on Friday night. At least nine people have died in the fire, while many others managed to escape. More than two dozen people’s fate is still unknown.
The party was an electronic music event. The Facebook page for the event contains more details on the featured DJ, who goes by the name Golden Donna. Assistant Fire Chief Mark Hoffman said the ground floor of the building was sectioned into multiple artist studios and was packed with furniture, mannequins, and other party objects.
“It was just a labyrinth of little areas,” he said.
However, the firefighters were not able to get further than about 20 yards into the structure before having to pull back. The building itself was too unsafe to go any further. Hoffman says, “the walls were moving.”
The search for bodies was able to start at around 3:30 P.M. on Saturday, but Mayor Libby Schaaf did say that the search will likely take days to complete. This will be very frightening for friends and family of party attendees, who used every available outlet, including phones and social media, in the anxious effort to find out whether or not their loved ones were alive.
So far, nine bodies have been recovered. Sergeant Ray Kelly, who is a spokesman for the coroner’s office of Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the fingerprints of those bodies have been rushed to a lab, in hopes that they can be identified as soon as possible.
Most of the people that were found dead were on the second floor of the building. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed added that once the fire started, people would have had difficulty leaving, because the pallet stairway in the structure was the only way to get down from the second floor. It is estimated that at least 100 people were at the event.
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