9 confirmed dead in Oakland fire, death toll could rise - Alameda Co. Sheriff (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Several dozen people believed to be missing after fire ravaged the building hosting a warehouse party have been located safe, while searches are still under way for another two dozen people, authorities said, confirming nine fatalities from the fire.
Nine people were pulled from the debris and were transported for identification procedures to the coroner’s office, Alameda County Sheriff's Office stated in a press briefing Saturday.
However, more bodies could still be trapped and the authorities decided to use heavy equipment to remove the debris.
In a press briefing on the incident, Fire Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed confirmed nine deaths and warned that the toll could rise as the property is more thoroughly searched, Reuters reports.
It's not clear just how many people were inside the premises at the time.
"There is a large majority of that building that has not been searched," she said.
The rescue and search operation is expected to last into Monday.
At least nine confirmed dead so far in #Oakland fire. We have people at the scene, keep checking this link for updates. https://t.co/jsxJ7JRLSw— Malaika Fraley (@malaikafraley) December 3, 2016
#BREAKING Casualties reported in 3-alarm #Oakland fire. Crews and Coroner on scene at 1305 31st Avenue.— KPIX Assignment Desk (@KPIXDesk) December 3, 2016
ACSO coroner responding to mass casualty fire event. PIO Sgt. Kelly will be on scene.— Alameda Co. Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) December 3, 2016
The blaze broke out on 31st Ave in Oakland during a party advertised as a ‘Rave Cave’ as part of musician Golden Donna’s ‘100% Silk’ West Coast tour.
31st- pic.twitter.com/8TX6jk0iYq— Oakland Firefighters (@OaklandFireLive) December 3, 2016
I'm at 31st and International in Oakland. Heavy fire burned down artist coop Satya Yuga (sp) tonight. Cc @EastBayExpress@EastBayTimespic.twitter.com/34feA3QjPa— Seung Y. Lee (@seungylee14) December 3, 2016
The fire raged for several hours, with 55 firefighters drafted in to tackle the blaze. It is not yet known how it started.
Deloach-Reed told local media that the building had no sprinkler system and it appears that no smoke detectors went off.
“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,” she said.
#Oakland fire chief describes scene of warehouse like a flea market and could only get in 10 feet. Saw 2 extinguishers. 9 dead 25 missing— Claudine Wong (@ClaudineKTVU) December 3, 2016
#oaklandfirechief says makeshift stairwell was made out of pallets. Majority of 9 dead found on second floor #ktvu— Claudine Wong (@ClaudineKTVU) December 3, 2016
Local TV station KPIX tweeted that fire officials cannot complete a search of the building because it is currently “unstable.”
The Alameda County Coroner told KPIX that they are preparing for a “mass casualty event.”
The sherrif's office said there could be up to 40 victims.
Alameda Co., sheriff spokesman: "prepared to deal with 30 to 40 deceased" in deadly Oakland warehouse fire. pic.twitter.com/Q56e54v8yZ— KPIX 5 (@CBSSF) December 3, 2016
#BREAKING Officials preparing for "many" more casualties from deadly #Oakland fire. Building unstable, they can't complete search now. pic.twitter.com/IMe8vjCQFe— KPIX 5 (@CBSSF) December 3, 2016
Drone from @ACSOSheriffs office checking for hotspots at #oaklandfire. 9 confirmed fatalities, as many as 25 unaccounted for. pic.twitter.com/5cfKsHvpzC— Christien Kafton (@CKaftonKTVU) December 3, 2016
Dozens of people posted on the event’s Facebook page to say that they had safely escaped the fire, while others enquired about friends and relatives yet unaccounted for.
The @RAIDERS are joining us in relief of the #OaklandFire and will also be matching and donating up to $30,000. https://t.co/xYHSzfb3Lzpic.twitter.com/V4HXVFaqJ6— Oakland A's 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) 4 декабря 2016 г.
One, Eveline Darroch, wrote: “I am here with the fire inspector going through the list of missing names of missing/safe. At this point there are several threads. I am requesting that you only post in this thread their name and missing or safe next to it. Thank you.”
#oakland is filled with smoke from this fire, the smell is rich all the way downtown. Hope everyone is okay and safe. https://t.co/nwtWnODevS— aRi (@GlickBrand) December 3, 2016
The building also reportedly housed an artists' collective.
#breaking: Greater alarm fire burning inside commercial building in #Oakland, California. Firefighters have taken a defensive mode. pic.twitter.com/GcssQ6dTvs— Tim Jue (@timjue) December 3, 2016
A Twitter account that posts about Oakland firefighters had earlier reported that the fire proceeded through the roof and all units were told to withdraw from the building at one point.
31st Ave: Fire through the roof, Command requests all units out of the building, going defensive. @KTVU@kron4news@CBSSF@abc7newsbayarea— Oakland Firefighters (@OaklandFireLive) December 3, 2016