DA says criminal charges possible in Oakland Ghost Ship fire

Amy Hollyfield Image
ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Crews work to shore up Ghost Ship warehouse, DA considers criminal charges
Crews have been working around the clock since the Ghost Ship warehouse caught fire on Friday night, killing at least 36 people.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Officials announced that 36 victims have been recovered from the scene of the deadly Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire. They have identified 33 of these victims and 16 of the families have been contacted.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley say her office is looking at whether or not criminal liability is attached to this fire.

"Charges could be murder or voluntary manslaughter..we don't know until we finish our investigation," said O'Malley.

Officials say 22 autopsies have been completed and additional autopsies are scheduled for tomorrow.

Work crews resumed their search through the scene of Friday night's deadly warehouse fire for victims at 9 a.m. The building was deemed unsafe for crews to be inside Sunday night and they had to halt efforts through Monday morning.

HOW TO HELP: If you are trying to locate a loved one or need information, call 510-382-3000.

They say there will be a planned power outage at noon for up to 12 hours in the immediate area of the fire, affecting 50-500 people. This outage is happening so a crane can be moved in to help with recovery efforts.

PHOTOS: Some of the victims of the tragic Oakland Ghost Ship fire

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The full list of victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif. are listed here, and will be updated as more victim names are released.

Someone on the roof was looking down noticed that the front side of the building was leaning, so they decided to call it.

Firefighters said they feel very strongly they know the point of origin for the warehouse fire. They say it was right underneath where the dance floor was during the party at Ghost Ship warehouse Friday.

They say they're studying an area where there is twisted steel and they see where the fire spread from there.

RELATED: Ex-employees say Ghost Ship founder disregarded fire hazard warnings

That is the indication to them that they have found the right location. They say it was the back of the building.

ATF agents are also helping with the investigation.

They say twisted steel comes from an extremely hot fire.

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

"We can see fire spread. ATF and our local investigators feel very strongly that they have identified the section of the building that is the area of origin," Oakland Fire Batt. Chief Melinda Drayton said.

Officials also updated the death toll to 36 victims. They do expect to release some names of victims later this afternoon but want to give family members time to reach out to other relatives before they release the names to reporters.

RELATED: Oakland fire helpline, information for families

We also expect to see officials return to the building, once it's safe, this afternoon. They may not have updates for us until they get back inside, which could be as late as 2 p.m.

If you are trying to locate a loved one, or need information call 510-382-3000.

Click here for all ABC7 News stories, videos, and photos from the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.