The fire broke out on Friday night around 11:30 PM and trapped dozens of people inside the venue. Fire department personnel are speculating that the stairs, which were made of cargo pallets, could have been a major cause. If the stairs caught on fire, they would burn up quickly, trapping concert-goers on the second floor of the building.
The venue itself was simply a warehouse that had no sprinkler system installed. There’s also no evidence that any smoke detectors went off.
At least nine people were confirmed dead, but over 25 more were missing. Cops were initially unable to enter the building to search for people due to the danger of the blaze. The roof had also collapsed, making the search even more complicated.
One artist who was performing at the rave was Golden Donna, whose real name is Joel Shanahan. Shanahan was not harmed in the fire, but a statement posted on Facebook expressed his sorrow.
“Joel is safe but like many people he is heartbroken and has several friends among the missing,” the message said. “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.”
VJ Jonathan Bernbaum of Knife Party has recently been confirmed as one of the victims of the fire. Many of his friends have expressed their sadness at his loss.
My condolences to my brothers @knifepartyinc on their loss. My heart goes out to you guys and you’re in my prayers, we lost a good person ????
— marshmello (@marshmellomusic) December 5, 2016
–EDM In Stereo Staff