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“Mass casualty event”: Authorities fear as many as 40 killed in California warehouse fire

December 3, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
“Mass casualty event”: Authorities fear as many as 40 killed in California warehouse fire

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Warehouse fire in Oakland

Authorities in California say they are preparing for a ‘mass casualty event’ after a three-alarm fire erupted during warehouse rave party on Friday night.

Oakland law enforcement officials said at least nine people have already been confirmed dead and they are prepared to deal with up to 40 fatalities.

Teresa Deloche-Reed, the Oakland Fire Chief, told CNN there were between 50 and 100 people inside of the building at the time of the fire, but some managed to escape.


The fire chief said 55 firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze due to the immense size of the building.

“The is a huge building, there’s going to have to be a methodical way we go about body recovery, and then also trying to find out where the fire started and how the fire’s spread took place. … We have not done a complete search of the building,” Deloach-Reed said.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ray Kelly revealed on Saturday morning that nine victims are confirmed dead so far and that he anticipates that number to increase as approximately two dozen are still missing, KTVU reported.

“We don’t know if any of them went someplace else, self-transported to the hospital,” Deloche-Reed said.

The warehouse was partitioned into various artist studios and was packed with lamps, furniture, mannequins, and other items. Deloche-Reed says the building didn’t have a correct exit path and that the only way out of the second floor was an alternative stairwell made of pallets.

Fire officials also revealed the building did not have any sprinklers system.

Kelly also stated that firefighters are still extinguishing hot spots from the fire that began around 11:30 pm on Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This is a developing story…

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