At Least 9 Dead, 25 Missing After Fire Breaks Out During Oakland Warehouse Rave

Authorities say the death toll may rise as new information becomes available

At least nine people are dead and over two dozen are missing after a fire broke out during a warehouse party in Oakland, California, on Friday night, according to several reports.

At least 100 people were in attendance for the event, which featured a performance from Madison, Wisconsin-based electronic act Golden Donna . According to a Facebook page for the event which was called a rave, attendees could get their hair and nails done at a “secret East Oakland location,” which was announced the day of the show.

The fire was initially reported at 11:30 p.m., according to KTVU. Authorities told KTVU the warehouse at 1305 31st st., which was known as the Ghost Ship, included living quarters for artists and their studios.

According to the East Bay Express, “habitability” complaints had been made about the building to the building’s owner, with the most recent complaint being filed in November. In October 2014, the city cited the owner because of housing and other structures that were being built inside the warehouse without permits, East Bay Express reports, citing city records.

A Tumblr identifying itself as the Ghost Ship shows dozens of photos of the building’s interior, including wooden art installations and details, clusters of old furniture and figurines, rugs and wall hanging and musical instruments. The Tumblr also features videos of performances and fliers for shows showing the 31st. street address. According to the Tumblr a tattoo shop was also operated inside the space.

Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr
Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr
Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr
Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr
Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr
Source: Oakland Ghost Ship/Tumblr

A video from a June performance shows more details inside the space, which appears dark, intimate and cluttered with decorations and art.

Most of the nine dead were found on the second floor, and another 25 people are unaccounted for, Fire Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed told the East Bay Times.

The Associated Press tweeted on Saturday that police were preparing to deal with up to 40 deaths. However, the exact number of deaths had not yet been confirmed.

When first responders arrived, they saw smoke coming from the two-story warehouse, and later, saw fire coming through the roof. By approximately 4:15 a.m., firefighters were tending to various hot spots, fire officials told KRON.

The Oakland Fire Department took to Twitter to share information about the scene, including one video showing the fire ravaging the warehouse. The fire department also tweeted that they would remain at the scene for several hours to extinguish the hot spots into the early morning.

Reed also told reporters that there were several temporary partitions at the scene, and first responders said it was like a “maze,” according to one local reporter’s Twitter video.

Oakland singer Kehlani shared her condolences for the victims and their families on Twitter and also said that putting on a party “with safety hazards and no sprinklers” is not worth it for bands or organizers that are “tryna save money.”

On the Facebook event page, questions about directions and the time of the event quickly changed to questions about the safety of friends and relatives. A Google Doc was also started to create a database with the attendees’ statuses following the tragic fire.

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