2016 Oakland warehouse fire

2016 Oakland warehouse fire
Time 11:30 p.m. (PST)
Date December 2, 2016 (2016-12-02)
Venue Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse
Location 1305 31st Avenue, Oakland, California, U.S.
Coordinates 37°46′40″N 122°13′38″W / 37.777743°N 122.227117°W / 37.777743; -122.227117Coordinates: 37°46′40″N 122°13′38″W / 37.777743°N 122.227117°W / 37.777743; -122.227117
Type Fire
Deaths 24 confirmed[1]
Non-fatal injuries 2
Missing At least 25

On December 2, 2016, at around 11:30 p.m., a fire broke out in a converted warehouse that served as an artist collective in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California. The 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) building was also called the Oakland Ghost Ship. At the time of the fire, the warehouse was hosting a concert sponsored by electronic dance music record label 100% Silk and headlined by electronic musician Golden Donna.

The fire, which killed at least 24 people, was one of the deadliest single-structure fires in the history of Oakland, as well as the city's worst fire since 1991.


A block with a burned out warehouse and a fire truck
The block the next morning, with the burned building in the center
A small fire station with an American flag and police SUV in front
Fire Station 13, which is a block away from the blaze

The fire started in a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) converted warehouse, known locally as the Oakland Ghost Ship.[2] It took four to five hours for 52 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. The effort involved 11 fire engines and three fire trucks.[3][4] A search of the building was impeded when the roof collapsed.[4] Drone aircraft were deployed to search for survivors using thermal imaging, but none were found.[5]

Multiple factors may have contributed to the loss of life. There were no fire sprinklers in the building, and firefighters on scene heard no smoke detectors.[6] Upon entering the building, firefighters found it was cluttered with furniture, art, and mannequins; Oakland Fire Department Chief Teresa Deloach Reed told reporters, "It was like a maze, almost."[6] Deloach Reed said that it appeared that the only exit to the second floor was a makeshift stairway made of stacked wooden pallets.[7][6] The stairway was instantly incinerated in the blaze, trapping victims inside.[8]

Around 50 people were present in the building at the time of the fire, and at least 24 were reported dead by police.[1] Twenty-five others are reportedly missing.[9][10] Officials are expecting the number of deaths to be closer to 40.[7][4] Few serious but non-lethal injuries were reported; Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly said, "It appears that people either made it out, or they didn’t make it out."[11] A representative from Oakland's Highland Hospital reported receiving two patients, one of whom has been discharged.[12]

Of the musicians scheduled to perform at the concert, only two — headliner Golden Donna (the stage name for musician Joel Shanahan)[13][14] and Aja Archuleta[1] — were confirmed to have escaped the fire. Two other musicians on the bill, Outsider house artist Cherushii (Chelsea Faith) and disk jockey Nackt (Johnny Igaz) were listed as missing.[15]

The fire was one of the deadliest single-structure fires in the history of Oakland,[6] the worst fire in the city since the 1991 Oakland firestorm,[11] and the deadliest event in Oakland since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.[9]


Before the fire, the building had already been under investigation by the Oakland Planning and Building Department for structural deficiencies.[8] A spokesperson for the department noted that an event like Friday night's concert would have required a special permit, but none had been issued.[3] Complaints of hazardous garbage and construction debris around the building had also been made.[16] The city is investigating whether people were living in the warehouse illegally.[3]


Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf referred to the fire as "an immense tragedy".[8][17] California governor Jerry Brown issued a statement extending his condolences.[18] Congressperson Barbara Lee expressed sympathy for the victims and gratitude to the firefighters and first responders, and promised support in securing any needed federal assistance.[19] The Oakland A's baseball team offered to match donations for those affected, up to $30,000; the Oakland Raiders football team soon joined them.[8][20][21] A Facebook Safety Check was deployed to help people find the whereabouts of friends and family who might have been in attendance.[22]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Fuller, Thomas; Dougherty, Conor (4 December 2016). "Death Toll in Deadly Warehouse Fire Rises to 24 as Search Goes On". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  2. Olga R. Rodriguez (December 3, 2016). "Warehouse gutted by blaze was home to Bohemian art space". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Rhea Mahbubani; Jessica Rice (December 3, 2016). "9 Killed, Dozens More Feared Dead in Oakland Warehouse Fire". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Elizabeth Weise; Aamer Madhani (December 3, 2016). "Authorities prepared for up to 40 deaths in Oakland warehouse fire". USA Today. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  5. Rory Carroll; Peter Henderson (December 3, 2016). "California warehouse fire kills at least nine at dance party". Reuters. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Harry Harris (December 3, 2016). "At least 9 dead, 25 missing in Oakland warehouse party fire". The Mercury News. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  7. 1 2 Russ Mitchell; Peter H. King; Tracey Lien; Paige St. John (December 3, 2016). "Officials fear up to 40 dead in fire during concert at Oakland warehouse". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Elizabeth Chuck; Ali Gostanian; Rebecca Sai; Erin Calabrese (December 3, 2016). "At Least 9 Dead, Others Missing After California Warehouse Fire: Official". NBC News. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  9. 1 2 "Oakland fire: Nine die during California club night". BBC News. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  10. Jill Tucker; Erin Allday; Kevin Fagan (December 3, 2016). "At least 9 dead, many missing in fire at Oakland party". SFGate. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  11. 1 2 Kristine Guerra; Ana Swanson (December 3, 2016). "'People either made it out, or they didn't': Oakland officials fear up to 40 dead in fire". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  12. Kimberly Hutcherson; Dan Simon (December 3, 2016). "Oakland fire kills at least 9 at warehouse party, fire chief says". CNN. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  13. Randall Roberts (December 3, 2016). "Oakland concert struck by deadly fire was promoted by L.A. dance label 100% Silk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  14. "Electronic Artist Headlining Oakland Rave Survived Fatal Fire". CBS San Francisco. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  15. Hermann, Andy (3 December 2016). "At Least 9 Dead in Oakland Warehouse Fire at Event for L.A.-Based Label 100% Silk". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  16. Sam Levin; Alan Yuhas (December 3, 2016). "Oakland 'Ghost Ship' warehouse party fire leaves nine dead and 25 missing". The Guardian. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  17. Thomas Fuller; Eli Rosenberg (December 3, 2016). "At Least 9 Are Dead After Fire at Warehouse Party in Oakland". The New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  18. "The Latest: City started investigating warehouse weeks ago". SFGate. December 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  19. Allison Weeks (December 3, 2016). "Congresswoman Barbara Lee speaks about deadly Oakland warehouse fire". KRON 4. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  20. Oakland A's (December 3, 2016). "THANK YOU to every Oakland A's fan for helping us support our community.". Twitter. Retrieved December 3, 2016. We will now match to $30,000.
  21. Oakland A's (December 3, 2016). "The @RAIDERS are joining us in relief of the #OaklandFire and will also be matching and donating up to $30,000.". Twitter. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  22. Brandon Mercer (December 3, 2016). "Facebook Safety Check activated for Oakland Inferno that killed 9, and left 25 missing". SFGate. Retrieved December 3, 2016.

External links

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