A three-alarm fire that began late Friday night in an Oakland, California, warehouse might have killed up to 40 people, an Alameda County official told the Los Angeles Times. The converted warehouse was hosting a concert with house music artist Golden Donna when the blaze began about 11:30pm PT.
As of Saturday afternoon, nine bodies have been recovered, but Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly told the newspaper that as many as 40 people might have died.
“This is just a tragedy, and there are no easy answers,” Kelly said. “This is not an easy task.”
According to this Facebook event page, the 100% Silk record label show began at 9pm Friday night. That Facebook concert event page now has a pinned post with the names of people at the show who are currently missing.
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Firefighters first received a call about the fire at 11:30 p.m. Friday night. Within an hour, the blaze had torn through the roof. Authorities added that the fire didn’t activate the building’s smoke detectors, and that there was no sprinkler system in place at the warehouse, which served as a live/work and studio space for local artists.
Golden Donna’s Joel Shanahan said he was safe from the fire. Here’s what the blaze looked like.
Arson reportedly is not suspected. According to the Times, firefighter swill use drones with thermal-imaging capabilities to search the warehouse.