Society

Death Toll Expected To Rise In Oakland Fire (Photos)

| by Brendan Kelly

A fire during a late-night rave at an Oakland warehouse converted to an art studio left nine people confirmed dead, though the death toll could rise as high as 40.

According to KTVU, a fire broke out while dozens were in the building at a dance party on Dec. 2.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly says that nine people are currently confirmed dead, but that "we expect the death toll from this event to rise." Several dozen people in attendance are still unaccounted for.

According to Elite Daily, the nine victims were found on the second floor of the building, where the fire reportedly started.

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More than 50 firefighters were initially brought to the scene of the fire, but had to exit the building as conditions worsened. Reportedly, no firefighters were injured in the blaze.

The fire has been declared one of the deadliest single-structure fires in Oakland's history, if not the deadliest.

Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said that the building had no sprinkler systems or smoke detectors activated. It is not yet clear what may have caused the fire. 

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The building's roof collapsed during the fire, which has caused difficulty in the investigation and prevented responders from confirming how many victims there are in total.

Bob Mule, a survivor of the fire and a photographer who lives in the building, says that he was unable to find a working fire extinguisher.

"It was too hot, too much smoke, I had to get out of there," Mule told the East Bay Times, according to KTVU. "I literally felt my skin peeling and my lungs being suffocated by smoke. I couldn't get the fire extinguisher to work."

The investigation is currently underway.

Sources: KTVUElite Daily / Photo credit: Facebook via Elite Daily​

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