Oakland Warehouse Fire: Number of dead rises to 36

Mourners embrace near the site of a warehouse fire Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The death toll from a fire that tore through a warehouse hosting a late-night dance party climbed on Sunday as firefighters painstakingly combed through rubble for others believed to still be missing. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on a deadly fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland, California (all times local):

 

UPDATE: 12/05/2016 6:28 a.m.   The death toll in the Oakland warehouse fire has grown to 36.

Authorities announced the latest tally early Monday, saying they expect the number to rise.

Eleven victims have been positively identified, but the names have yet to be publicly released.

Work has stopped at the scene for now because one wall is leaning inward, posing a safety hazard for those who have been searching the structure. Officials hope to have an engineering solution later today.

Authorities also believe they’ve located the section of the building where the fire started, but the cause remains unknown.

The fire erupted during a dance party late Friday night.


12/04/2016 6:45 p.m. – Authorities have released the names of seven people who died in a warehouse fire during a dance party that has claimed at least 33 lives.

Oakland officials identified the seven on Sunday. They ranged in age from 22 to 35, and all but one lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are: 22-year-old Cash Askew, 35-year-old David Clines, 35-year-old Travis Hough, and 32-year-old Donna Kellogg, all of Oakland; 25-year-old Nick Gomez-Hall, of Coronado; 30-year-old Sara Hoda, of Walnut Creek; and 32-year-old Brandon Chase Wittenauer, of Hayward.

Officials said they had identified an eighth victim, but they were not releasing the name because the person is 17 years old.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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3:45 p.m. – Officials in Oakland say the 33 people confirmed dead in a fire at a warehouse range in age from teenagers to 30-plus years old.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly says authorities have identified some 17 year olds among the victims. He says some of the victims are from Asia and Europe. Officials say they have identified victims through fingerprints.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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3:20 p.m. – Officials in Oakland say the death toll from a fire at a warehouse during a dance party has climbed to 33.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the latest figure at a news conference Sunday. The number increased from 24 earlier in the day, as crews continued to comb through the charred building.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says prosecutors have sent a representative to the scene to make sure any evidence for a potential criminal probe is preserved during the recovery process.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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3:15 p.m. – A relative has confirmed one of the fatalities in a fire at a warehouse during a dance party that killed at least 33 people.

Keith Slocum confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday that his daughter, Donna Kellogg, was among the dead. He declined additional comment.

Officials in Oakland say the death toll has risen to 33 from the fire.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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1:30 p.m. – A former tenant of the warehouse where a deadly fire erupted at a dance party describes it as a “death trap” with illegal electrical cords and music equipment.

The search for bodies continued into Sunday, when officials said the death toll was up to 30.

Shelley Mack said Saturday she didn’t know the dwelling was illegal when she lived there about two years ago, and was told to tell visitors it was a 24-hour workspace for artists. When inspectors or other outsiders came to visit, she said she and other residents scurried to hide clothes, bedding and other evidence anyone was living there.

Oakland officials say the space was cluttered with rugs, old sofas and other items when the fire tore through it during a dance party on Friday night.

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12:30 p.m. – Officials in Oakland say the death toll has risen to 30 from a fire that tore through a warehouse that housed an artist collective.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the new figure Sunday afternoon.

Kelly says crews are starting to get deeper into the building and that as they advance they expect to find more victims.

Authorities also say DNA will be needed to identify bodies. Officials have asked families of those feared dead to preserve any DNA evidence they may have, including hair or tooth brushes.

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12:15 p.m. – A chaplain who met with families trying to determine if their loved ones are among the dead in a fire at a dance party says the uncertainty is difficult to bear.

Oakland Fire Department chaplain Jayson Landeza said Sunday the families want to be able to have some kind of closure. Landeza met with the families at an Alameda County sheriff’s office in Oakland, California, that has been turned into a family resource center. At least a dozen people have gathered there.

Officials have searched only 20 percent of the charred remains of the building where they now say 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party. The number of dead is expected to rise.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly says officials have been in touch with the families of three of the dead.

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11:20 a.m. – Authorities say they have recovered more bodies from the charred remains of a building where at least 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly declined to say Sunday how many additional bodies have been found, but said the process has been slow. Crews are using shovels and buckets.

The death toll rose Sunday from 9 to 24.

Kelly said some of the victims are from out of the country. Authorities are trying to contact family members of the dead.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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9:55 a.m. – Officials have searched only 20 percent of the charred remains of a building where they now say 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly says Sunday the number of dead is expected to rise.

Kelly says officials have been in touch with the families of three of the dead.

Oakland Battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says crews are removing debris “bucket by bucket” in a thoughtful, compassionate way.

Drayton says the process is intentionally arduous for firefighters’ safety and to show respect to the families of those who have died.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have been in attendance.

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8:20 a.m. – Officials in Oakland, California, say the death toll has risen to 24 from a fire that ripped through a converted warehouse.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the new figure early Sunday. He says officials anticipate that the number will rise.

Oakland Battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says fire crews worked through the night to clear debris from the gutted building.

The converted warehouse was known as the “Ghost Ship.” Those who lived there or visited often say it was an artist workspace and illegal home for a rotating group of a dozen or more residents.

Firefighters struggled to get to bodies in the charred rubble Saturday.

The fire started about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believed 50 to 100 people may have been in attendance.

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This story has been clarified to show prosecutors have sent a representative to the scene of a fire, not launched criminal probe.

 

 

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