The fire occurred during a musical party in a former warehouse
The death toll in a fire in a former warehouse in Oakland, California, has increased to 36 people, and could rise further as searches continue in the building where the party was a disaster.
According to officials, until surveyed, only about 20 percent of the building. According to representatives of the fire service Melinda Dayton, “it will be a long and difficult process, but we want to be sure that did everything possible in the name of the victims, their families and the safety of firefighters”.
On Friday evening the flames had reached the warehouse converted into art studios. They were not allowed to use either as dwellings or for recreational activities.
The building in which the tragedy occurred, was named “the Ghost Ship”. According to officials, down in it could only the stairs made of wooden panels. Among the dead were people from puberty to 30 years.
The cause of the fire in a building not equipped with sprinkler fire protection system, has not yet formally established. Experts arson investigators combing the building.
“It seems that people either managed to escape or are trapped inside the building,” – said the official representative of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Sergeant ray Kelly.
When extinguishing the fire were involved in 55 firefighters, said in an interview with the local newspaper, East Bay Times, the battalion chief Lisa Baker.
The head of the fire Department of Oakland Theresa Delos-Reid said that the roof of the building collapsed, complicating the rescue work.
“At the moment access to the building is difficult, go there too dangerous. In addition, there is a lot of heavy wooden debris from the collapsed roof, which should be dismantled, – she told reporters. – Completing quests will take some time.”
To get inside the building, firefighters used chain saws and axes.
According to authorities, the building housed a commune of artists numbering about 50 people. According to the page in “Facebook”, held in the building the event was going to 176 people.
After repeated complaints by neighbors that the building of illegal people live and gather around the garbage, November 13 city authorities started investigation over the case. Four days later, law enforcement officials went to inspect the building, but were unable to get inside.
The mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf in an official statement, called the fire “a great tragedy”.