UPDATE 12/4: Authorities announce death toll has risen to 33 and is likely to grow substantially.
The city of Oakland, California is suffering a shocking loss in the after math of a deadly fire that broke out on last night December 2, 2016. The unfortunate incident occurred at 11:30pm during an event advertised as ‘Rave Cave’ for electronic artist Golden Donna’s 100% Silk West Coast tour. Officials say at least 9 people died and 25 more that are unaccounted for. As of right now, the whereabouts of the performers also remain unknown.
Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed said, “we still have to do a more thorough search of the building and we don’t know the potential number of other victims”. She also commented: “In my career of 30 years, I haven’t experienced something of this magnitude”. “This is a true loss for the city, for the firefighters who responded, and the people who lost family and friend. It’s just tragic, a real tragedy”.
The two story warehouse is known as an artists enclave, The Oakland Ghost Ship. Firefighters who investigated the fire say that there was no sprinkler system and no visible evidence of working smoke detectors that would have went off once the fire started.
Deloche-Reed said that when fire crews first entered the building to fight the blaze, they were greeted by a massive amount of furniture, art and several mannequins that could have possibly obstructed the exits. Firefighters also found a ‘makeshift stairwell’ that led to the second floor, which is where most of the people who died were found. According to fire officials, this is considered one of the deadliest single-structure fires in Oakland’s history.
Fire crews are currently working on a thorough search of the scorched building to look for remaining victims, while arson investigators are looking into what caused the blaze.
Oakland police said to contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau 510-382-3000 for anything regarding missing persons.