Fire at California rave party kills nine

At least nine people are killed and 15 others missing following a massive fire at a rave party in a warehouse in Oakland, California. Blaze causes roof of the building to collapse, complicating efforts to recover bodies.

Photo by: Reuters video screengrab
Photo by: Reuters video screengrab

The two-story structure was a live-work space for 50 people, according to a local newspaper.

At least nine people were killed and about 15 went missing following a massive fire at a rave party in a warehouse in Oakland, California, the city's fire chief said on Saturday

Fire officials were still trying to determine how the fire started, said Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed, who described the building as "huge." She said the roof had collapsed, complicating efforts to recover bodies.

The warehouse in the Fruitvale district housed units where people lived and worked.

"There is a large majority of that building that has not been searched," Deloach-Reed said during a press briefing.

"We are hoping that the number nine is what there is and that there are no more," the fire chief said, referring to the number of known fatalities. "But we have not done a complete search of the building."


Oakland city fire chief, Deloach-Reed, talks to media personnel in Oakland, California, December 3, 2016. (Reuters video screengrab)

The San Jose Mercury News quoted fire officials as saying they were told up to 70 people were at the Golden Donna's 100% Silk West Coast tour event.

The fire broke out around 11:30 pm (local time) and was brought under control by early morning, with crews sifting through the rubble searching for victims, fire officials said.

The two-story structure was a live-work space for 50 people, according to the East Bay Times newspaper.

Friends and family of partygoers went to social media to try and find news about their loved ones, with some posting information on the event's Facebook page.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies