At 11:30 p.m. on the night of December 2, nearly 40 people perished in a warehouse fire that occurred during a rave in a warehouse in Oakland. The fire began at the Ghost Ship Arts Collective in the Fruitvale neighborhood of the city. NBC News has called the fire one of the most lethal fires in U.S. history.
The building was leased by Derick Ion and his wife Micah Allison. They ran collective and allegedly, illegally lived at the space along with other local artists. On the night of the fire, the warehouse was hosting a rave hosted by 100% Silk, a house music label. Arson has all but been ruled out as a cause but some charges may still be pending. It took 11 fire trucks, drones and 52 firefighters to tackle the blaze. Oakland Fire Department Chief Teresa Deloach Reed described the building as being "like a maze." The NBC News report says that the building's staircase went up in flames, trapping revelers inside. That story quotes Ghost Ship employee Max Ohr as confirming that there were no fire sprinklers in the building.
Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly told the media on December 4 that there was some minor injuries to those who escaped. Kelly said, "It appears that people either made it out, or they didn't make it out." Two performers from the show, Golden Donna and Aja Archuleta, escaped the fire, reports CBS San Francisco. The station notes that other performers, Chelsea Faith, Nackt and Obsidian Blade, are still missing at the time of writing.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that the building would have required a special permit for a concert, something it didn't have. The investigation into the blaze includes allegations that people were living there illegally. On November 17, city investigators paid a visit to the location but did not get any answer when they arrived.
In response to the tragedy, the Oakland Athletics have matched donations up to $30,000. The Raiders made a similar donation while the Golden State Warriors upped the donation to $50,000.
Here are the photos showing the condition of the building prior to the fire that you need to see:
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