Oakland Fire Photos From The Scene Are Devastating
A party turned deadly on Friday night in Oakland, California, after a fire engulfed a two-story warehouse and left at least nine fatalities — a number that's expected to rise. "We are preparing for the worst, which would be about 40 people," Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Graves said. "It may not be that many. These people could be at the hospital or with friends. That's just the worst case we are preparing for." And the photos from the scene are devastating.
The Washington Post reported that upwards of 50 people were inside the building at the time of the fire. The crowd was there attending a concert of the musician Golden Donna, whose real name is Joel Shanahan. Shanahan's Facebook was updated on Saturday: "Joel is safe but like many people he is heartbroken and has several friends among the missing," read the post. "Please refrain from messaging this page or Joel's personal channels unless you have information on the Oakland fire victims. Sending love to everyone affected by this horrific event."
The owners of the "Ghost Ship," as the now-destroyed warehouse was known, had apparently been hit with multiple habitability complaints. Two of these complaints filed as recently as November. On Nov. 13, a complaint was filed regarding "a ton of garbage piling up on the property" neighboring the warehouse, with some of trash described as possibly "hazardous"; on the following day, city inspectors seem to have examined the building in response to an "illegal interior building structure" complaint.
Below are five photos that show the magnitude of this tragedy:
1. Not A Small Building
This aerial view of the burned warehouse shows just how big the fire must have been.
2. Huge Impact
A man stands near the scene in shock and disbelief.
3. Flowers For The Missing
Friends and family of the fire's victims have started leaving flowers for their lost loved ones.
4. Seeking Support
At least 25 people remain unaccounted for. Posts from loved ones looking for their brothers, friends, sisters, boyfriends, sons, daughters, and colleagues have popped up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and several other social media outlets.
5. Nightmarish Flames
Images from the fire as it blazed during the night highlight even more intensely just how terrifying the tragedy was.
Those seeking information about missing loved ones should contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau 510-382-3000. This Facebook page also serves to check if people in the nearby area are safe.