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Ghost Ship

33 confirmed dead in Oakland warehouse party fire

Authorities continue to work through the ruins of Ghost Ship, a DIY venue that was hosting a party by LA label 100% Silk

Thirty-three people have been confirmed dead following a fire at a warehouse party at Oakland’s Ghost Ship, California.  

The fire broke out at the DIY artist space on Friday evening (December 2), as Los Angeles-based label 100% Silk held a party. Firefighters have been working through the ruins of the space to recover fatalities, though the actual cause of the blaze is still unknown. According to the LA Times, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt Ray Kelly confirmed the space was not yet being treated as a crime scene.

Ghost Ship had been hosting a party with musicians Golden Donna, Cherushii and Nackt among others. In a statement, 100% Silk described the incident as “an unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario”.

“We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families,” they said.

“Our first priority is the humane and compassionate removal of the victims of this tragedy,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said of the incident, according to The Guardian. “Secondly we are focused on supporting the families and the loved ones, some who are coming from very far away.”

“Our final focus is doing everything that we can to preserve evidence and to conduct the recovery operation in a manner that allows us to fully and professionally investigate this incident so that we can get to the bottom of how this happened.”

A relief fund has been set up to support the victims.

The Facebook event page for the night was being used by friends and family to confirm attendees’ safety, with a Google doc and threads for people as yet unaccounted for also circulating. Dais Records confirmed that Them Are Us Too’s Cash Askew had died.

Writer and artist Carmen Brito, who lived in the space for the past year, told Thump she had fallen asleep around 7pm, and later awoke when the fire first broke out.

“I somehow got my shoes on and my coat on and by the time I stepped out of my space, I could see flames about 20 feet in front of me that were over eight feet high. Like, an entire wall was covered.” Brito explained to Thump how she had exited the venue around 11.20pm, when she called 911. Another artist who lived there with her is still missing.

Artists such as The Black Madonna and Midland have sent their condolences, with many within the art and music community detailing the tragic loss of close friends.

According to BBC News, only three families have been informed of their deceased loved ones because of issues with identification. Relatives and friends have been asked to come forward with toothbrushes, hairbrushes or other items that could contain DNA to help with the process.