- Title: Musicians, student among first list of Oakland fire victims
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) EMERGENCY VEHICLES OUTSIDE BURNT WAREHOUSE CAR WITH SIGN ON SIDE READING: ALAMEDA COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE PARKED NEAR BURNT WAREHOUSE CHARRED WINDOWS OF WAREHOUSE OFFICIALS AND EMERGENCY CREWS OUTSIDE WAREHOUSE FIREFIGHTERS CAR PARKED NEAR WAREHOUSE PEOPLE NEAR WAREHOUSE VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF BURNT WAREHOUSE WOMAN BRINGING FLOWERS TO MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL FLOWERS AND CANDLES NEAR MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) OAKLAND RESIDENT, KAYLA KIRSCH, SAYING: "I came out of respect for the people who died. And there is a lot of creative people in Oakland. And I feel terrible that this happened to young people who are the future and who came to relax and to experience music and do music and didn't really know that they were in a fire trap." MAN TAKING PHOTO OF MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL FLOWERS AND CANDLES NEAR MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL POLICE TAPE BLOCKING STREET FIRETRUCK DRIVING IN VARIOUS OF MEMORIAL
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 06:02
- Keywords: Musicians student Oakland fire victims
- Location: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BLVOSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Victims of a fire that destroyed a converted warehouse in California this weekend, killing at least 33 people, included a woman working her way through culinary school, at least three musicians and a teacher.
Their lives all ended suddenly when the performance space and artist community known as the Ghost Ship, which the city said was permitted only as a warehouse, turned into an inferno late Friday in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, east of San Francisco.
Officials say on Sunday (December 4) they have found 33 bodies so far and expect to find more.
People in Oakland were bringing flowers and candles to a makeshift memorial set up in the vicinity of the burnt warehouse.
"I feel terrible that this happened to young people who are the future and who came to relax and to experience music and do music and didn't really know that they were in a fire trap," said Oakland resident, Kayla Kirsch.
Oakland officials released the first list of victims late on Sunday, seven California adults in their 20s and 30s and a 17-year-old whose name was withheld.
Firefighters in Oakland, east of San Francisco, found the remains of nearly three dozen victims as they sifted through the debris-filled shell of the two-story converted warehouse being used by an artists' collective.
The cause of the fire was still undetermined, officials said. Arson is not suspected but investigators want to find out if the building, often used for musical performances, had a history of code violations.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said the Alameda County District Attorney's Office activated its criminal investigation team at the fire scene. A representative of the prosecutor's office is monitoring the recovery process, she said, adding she was not authorized to say if a criminal probe was under way.
The blaze, which erupted about 11:30 p.m. on Friday (0730 GMT on Saturday), ranks as the deadliest in the United States since 100 people perished in a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire.
The warehouse, which served as a base for the Ghost Ship Artists Collective, was one of many converted lofts in the city's Fruitvale district, a mostly Latino area where rents are generally lower than in the rest of Oakland.
As of Sunday evening, only 35 to 40 percent of the building had been searched, said Sergeant Ray Kelly, spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Officials are still unsure how many people were in the building at the time of the fire and how many more victims might be found.
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