by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | December 3, 2016 6:13 pm
This is just horrific. An Oakland, California warehouse went up in flames this morning… a rave was being held inside. Attendees either got out unscathed or were trapped inside. Nine are confirmed dead. Up to 40 may have perished in the blaze. There were no sprinklers or smoke alarms in the building. Arson may have been involved and I heard from people there that a gang may have been part of this as well. Officials say at least 25 people are unaccounted for.
Parents and relatives are frantically looking for their loved ones. Just a bit ago officials said that they expect the death toll to rise and they expect it to go as high as 40. I can’t imagine being a parent and unable to find my child who was involved in this. The party was part of musician Golden Donna’s ‘100% Silk’ West Coast tour. Oakland police said those concerned about missing people should contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau at 510-382-3000.
From the Daily Mail:
Families and friends of party-goers missing after a massive fire destroyed a northern California warehouse artist collective on Saturday are desperately pleading for information about the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Up to 40 people are feared dead with nine confirmed after the fire ripped through the warehouse during an electronic music party early Saturday morning.
Officials said the building had no sprinkler system or working smoke detectors as the owner had been cited by the city just last month for other violations.
Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed said that at least another 25 people are still unaccounted for after the deadly blaze started around 11.30pm in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue during an event featuring musician Golden Donna’s 100% Silk West Coast tour.
‘We still have to do a more thorough search of the building and we don’t know the potential number of other victims,’ Deloche-Reed said.
‘In my career of 30 years, I haven’t experienced something of this magnitude.’
The fire is thought to be one of the deadliest single-structure fires in Oakland’s history. Even the firefighters are in shock over this one. There were some ‘foreign nationals’ inside the building attending the party, which could make it difficult for authorities to locate some of the families. Authorities have set up a family assistance center at the sheriff’s substation at 2425 E. 12th Street in Oakland as a place for fire survivors and families to meet. Deloach-Reed said that fire crews found a ‘makeshift stairwell’ between the first and second floor and that most people who died were on the second floor of the building. They never stood a chance once the fire broke out – it spread instantly.
There was garbage and debris everywhere inside. The junk fueled the fire even more. Property records list the owner as Chor N. Ng and that he purchased the warehouse in 1997. He also owns other properties in the city. The building was a site of ongoing parties for young people. Underage teens frequented the spot. Between 50 and 100 people were at the rave that started at 9 pm and was to go on until 4 am. As many as 200 could have attended the secret party. 55 firefighters battled the blaze that is believed to have started on the ground floor and shot upwards. How ironic that the building was known as The Oakland Ghost Ship.
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