Oakland Fire Department says cause of Ghost Ship fire is undetermined

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ByKatie Marzullo KGO logo
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Oakland Fire Dept. says cause of Ghost Ship fire is undetermined
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The Oakland Fire Department released its "Origin and Cause" report on the fire on Monday and it says they could not determine a specific cause.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The big question for so many about Oakland's Ghost Ship fire may never be answered. The Oakland Fire Department released its report on the fire on Monday and it says they could not determine a specific cause.

The 50-page report details everything from the first 911 call to the findings of the investigation.

Two photos in the report show the before-and-after of one of the areas inside the Ghost Ship warehouse. Investigators say the space was bordered by a partial trailer on one side and a travel trailer on the other. The fire reduced it all to rubble.

PHOTOS: Before and after pictures of Oakland Ghost Ship fire

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The Oakland Fire Department shared this before photo from the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, Calif. in their report released Monday, June 19, 2017.
Photo by the Oakland Fire Department

In another photo, a table is seen collapsed onto metal chairs. And in another, a dorm size and full size refrigerator can be seen, both burned from the top down. Investigators say the fire did not originate in these appliances.

In fact, the report reveals that because of the extensive damage, investigators don't know what started the fire. They can't rule out candles, incense, a careless or intentional open flame or, most prominently, an electrical cause.

Electrical engineers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found modifications to the warehouse's electrical systems.

Two heavily damaged temporary power distribution boxes, or "spider boxes," were found in the fire debris. The report calls them part of a makeshift system that supplied areas of the building with electricity.

In one photo, you can see what's left of a staircase to the second floor. The upper section of the staircase and the second floor surrounding it collapsed onto the first floor. The report also indicates several victims also fell from the second floor.

But the cause of death for all 36 victims was smoke inhalation.

There is one man who was seriously injured and is still in the hospital. His eyewitness account is not available.

The Ghost Ship art collective's founder and his second in charge face manslaughter charges in connection with the fire.

Click here to read the Oakland Fire Department's full report.

PHOTOS: A look inside the Oakland Ghost Ship collective warehouse

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This photo of the Ghost Ship art collective warehouse in Oakland, Calif. was posted on its website.
Photo by www.OaklandGhostShip.com

Click here for full coverage on the investigation into Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship Fire.