[Note: This article has been updated since it was originally published.]
A fire on Friday night at a warehouse party in Oakland has left at least 36 dead, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, with several others still missing or unaccounted for.
The fire broke out in a warehouse converted into an artists studio and DIY event space called the Oakland Ghost Ship, during a party featuring artists from 100% Silk, a Silver Lake–based dance and electronic label run by wife-and-husband team Amanda and Britt Brown. The 100% Silk artists scheduled to play at the event were Golden Donna, Cherushii and Nackt, along with other musicians and DJs including Russell E. L. Butler, Obsidian Blade, Piano Rain and RADAR.
Golden Donna, the solo project of Wisconsin-based producer Joel Shanahan, published a Facebook post this morning reading, in part, “Joel is safe but like many people he is heartbroken and has several friends among the missing.” Chelsea Faith aka Cherushii and Johnny Igaz aka Nackt are among those still listed as missing.
The fire started around 11:30 p.m. near what Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed described as a “makeshift stairway,” according to East Bay Times. Eyewitnesses described black smoke pouring down the stairs as people tried to escape.
Firefighters have been unable to get full access to the building because the fire rendered it unstable. They expect the death toll to rise and possibly include “dozens of fatalities,” Alameda County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly told reporters.
The event organizers could not be reached for comment, but in a post on the 100% Silk Facebook page, label owner Amanda Brown wrote: “What happened in Oakland is an unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario. Britt and I are beside ourselves, utterly devastated. We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families.”
A fire relief fund for victims and their families has been set up on YouCaring.org by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts and has already raised more than
[Update, Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.: The confirmed death toll in the Oakland warehouse fire since this article was originally published has risen from nine to 24. Copy in the article has been changed to reflect this.]
[Update, Sunday, Dec. 4, 1:50 p.m.: The death toll has risen to 30.]
[Update, Sunday, Dec. 4, 5:05 p.m.: The death toll now stands at 33. Authorities say they have been able to search only about 30 percent of the building.]
[Update, Tuesday, Dec. 6: The death toll has risen to 36. Oakland fire officials say most of the building has been searched and all but one of the victims has been identified, though a full list of their names has not yet been released. Families of the victims are still being notified.]