Since yesterday when the death toll in Oakland was raised from 9 to 24, it has once again risen to 36. “We have located and recovered 36 victims,” said Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Tya Modste. “Of the 36, 11 have been positively identified and their family members have been appropriately identified,” she said.
Recovery and discovery efforts were halted late Sunday night as investigators were believed to have found the portion of the building where the fire originated. The area will be searched Monday morning to locate the cause. Last night at a press conference, Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, said that the Alameda County District Attorney has started an official investigation into the cause of the fire.
Approximately 70% of the area has been searched so far, and no cause has yet been found. However, according to former residents, the building had few exits, piles of wood and electrical cords and a makeshift staircase, making it a tinder box and fire waiting to happen.
Yesterday, the promoter of the party was lambasted on social media for an insensitive post, mourning the loss of his own property and leaving out those whose lives were lost. Of those who died in the inferno, one was Knife Party’s VJ, Jonathan Bernbaum.
“We hope that we’ll be back in the building between 12 o’clock and two o’clock today to continue the recovery effort,”said Oakland Fire Department spokesperson Chief Teresa DeLoach Reed.
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