Oakland party fire claims nine lives, dozens are missing

More than two dozen remain missing after fire breaks out at Ghost Ship art-collective space.

A fire broke out around 11:30pm Friday night at during a party at GhostShip in Oakland’s Fruitvale district — an artist-collective space that regularly hosts parties featuring underground electronic musicians. The Oakland Fire Department rushed to the scene of the three-alarm fire, which took several hours to put out. There are reported nine deaths, although none of the victims’s names have been released to the public yet, and more than two dozen people still missing. 

Here is an updating Google Doc listing the missing people. (UPDATE: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office requested the list be made private to protect the families of potential victims.) And here is a Facebook thread from the party page, updating on more info about missing people. So far, nine people are confirmed dead, with more than 25 people reported missing. 

The party was headlined by Wisconsin DJ Golden Donna of the 100% Silk label, with several local DJs supporting — among them DJ Nackt aka Johnny Igaz and Cherushii aka Chelsea Faith, still missing and both beloved members of the Bay Area underground electronic scene. Among the list of the missing are several other key people on the scene, and social media erupted in an outpouring of grief and pleas for their safety. This is an enormous, numbing tragedy for the underground arts and music scene in the Bay Area.

We’ll update here with more information as it comes in.    

UPDATE 10am: East Bay Express reporter Matthias Gafni is reporting live from the scene: www.twitter.com/mgafni

UPDATE 11:54am: Oakland officials stressed in a press conference that this is not an active crime scene, but they did not answer questions about previous citations or reports about the building concerning fire codes or occupancy.: www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Deadly-Fire-Kills-9-at-Oakland-Warehouse-404457135.html

UPDATE 12:05pm: The Oakland A’s have launched a 20k matching donations crowdfunding campaign: www.youcaring.com/oaklandfirevictimsfrom130531staveinoakland-706680#mlb-oakland

UPDATE 12:58pm: Officials had recently cited the space after reports of hazardous trash buildup. A witness says the place was “a tinderbox.”

UPDATE 2:30pm:  New conference happening now with Oakland mayor and officials: 1 body recovered, but building structure needs to be reinforced before other bodies recovered. “We’re expecting to pull many more bodies from the building. Press conference on FB live here: www.facebook.com/eastbaytimes 

UPDATE 2:48pm: Investigators say that because roof collapsed on second floor and part of first, floor is unsecured and it may take up to 48 hours or even more days to recover and identify bodies.  

UPDATE 3:56pm: In San Francisco, there will be a vigil at Gray Area tonight at 6pm in the mission: www.facebook.com/events/347897148904272 — which has also set up the first big fundraising account for victims and their families: www.youcaring.com/firevictimsofoaklandfiredec232016-706684 
The Oakland A’s have also launched a $20k matching charity crowdfunding account: www.youcaring.com/oaklandfirevictimsfrom130531staveinoakland-706680#mlb-oakland

UPDATE 5:14pm: More places for gathering tonight: In SF — The re-opening of RS94109 record shop in Polk, 6pm-11pm: www.facebook.com/events/1115694451877510/ 
In Oakland — The Ships in the Night party, which was originally a benefit for ST. James Infirmary. The Infirmary has requested the funds instead be donated to those affected and families: www.facebook.com/events/351192908559994/

SHARE
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at) 48hills.org, follow @supermarke on Twitter.