Oakland warehouse fire death toll rises to 30 - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Oakland warehouse fire death toll rises to 30

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Latest on a deadly fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland, California (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Officials in Oakland say the death toll has risen to 30 from a fire that tore through a warehouse that housed an artist collective.

 Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the new figure Sunday afternoon.

Kelly says crews are starting to get deeper into the building and that as they advance they expect to find more victims.

Authorities also say DNA will be needed to identify bodies. Officials have asked families of those feared dead to preserve any DNA evidence they may have, including hair or tooth brushes.

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12:15 p.m.

A chaplain who met with families trying to determine if their loved ones are among the dead in a fire at a dance party says the uncertainty is difficult to bear.

Oakland Fire Department chaplain Jayson Landeza said Sunday the families want to be able to have some kind of closure. Landeza met with the families at an Alameda County sheriff's office in Oakland, California, that has been turned into a family resource center. At least a dozen people have gathered there.

Officials have searched only 20 percent of the charred remains of the building where they now say 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party. The number of dead is expected to rise.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly says officials have been in touch with the families of three of the dead.

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11:20 a.m.

Authorities say they have recovered more bodies from the charred remains of a building where at least 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly declined to say Sunday how many additional bodies have been found, but said the process has been slow. Crews are using shovels and buckets.

The death toll rose Sunday from 9 to 24.

Kelly said some of the victims are from out of the country. Authorities are trying to contact family members of the dead.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the "Ghost Ship" about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have attended the event.

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9:55 a.m.

Officials have searched only 20 percent of the charred remains of a building where they now say 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly says Sunday the number of dead is expected to rise.

Kelly says officials have been in touch with the families of three of the dead.

Oakland Battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says crews are removing debris "bucket by bucket" in a thoughtful, compassionate way.

Drayton says the process is intentionally arduous for firefighters' safety and to show respect to the families of those who have died.

The fire ripped through a converted warehouse known as the "Ghost Ship" about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believe 50 to 100 people may have been in attendance.

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8:20 a.m.

Officials in Oakland, California, say the death toll has risen to 24 from a fire that ripped through a converted warehouse.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the new figure early Sunday. He says officials anticipate that the number will rise.

Oakland Battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says fire crews worked through the night to clear debris from the gutted building.

The converted warehouse was known as the "Ghost Ship." Those who lived there or visited often say it was an artist workspace and illegal home for a rotating group of a dozen or more residents.

Firefighters struggled to get to bodies in the charred rubble Saturday.

The fire started about 11:30 p.m. Friday during an electronic dance music party. Officials believed 50 to 100 people may have been in attendance.

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