The deadly fire that occurred at a warehouse in Oakland, California over the weekend has now reportedly claimed the lives of 33 people, but this number is expected to increase as firefighters dig through the debris and discover additional bodies. The authorities have opened a criminal probe into the incident as it is believed that arson may have been the cause of the fire.
The warehouse was being used by both artists and party-goers alike. It was basically like a small commune in a way because artists would just go there to be creative and work on their projects. Then at night, the second floor of the warehouse would typically have big parties going on there. Most likely, the inhabitants were not authorized to use the building because it was in such poor condition and would never be legally acceptable for the public to use.
The warehouse had apparently been under investigation by local building authorities because of numerous complaints they received about the warehouse structure not being safe. Not only that, the owners of the warehouse did not have any permits to allow them to house people or hold parties there. The fire had broken out on the second floor and the only way to get to or from that floor was by one wooden staircase. This limited way to escape from the second floor was probably the reason why so many people died.
Firefighters claim they’ve only dug through 30% to 40% of the debris so far. It will likely take them another couple of days to dig through it all and find the remaining bodies that are expected to be under there. Although the fire is a criminal investigation, there are no suspects right now in custody.
Therapy dogs were taken to the scene to help the surviving victims and family members with their grief.