By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
UPDATE: Death Toll has Risen to 36
The rave turned deadly when a raging blaze surged through the warehouse the event was being held, killing at least 24 people, with police expecting the death toll to rise. A dozen people remain missing.
How the fire was ignited is currently unknown. Officials indicate the building was licensed as a warehouse, not a venue for concerts or public gatherings. The city had also received reports, prior to the fire, of people illegally living in the the warehouse, and of illegal construction being performed inside the facility. The 4,000 square foot structure, known as the Ghost Ship, while a warehouse, had internally been transformed into a number of spaces, making it a "labyrinth of little areas." Because of the maze-like interior, escape during the fire was made even more difficult.
Currently, the site “is not deemed a crime scene,” but police personnel were on hand in case the investigation takes a turn.
City Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents the Fruitvale district and lives a block from where the fire occurred, said the building “has been an issue for a number of years.”
“People have been living inside, and the neighbors have complained about it,” he said. “Some of these young people that were in there were underage. They frequently had parties there.”
The fire swept through the building with such ferocity that the roof and part of the second floor collapsed, filling the rooms with an avalanche of burning debris. The fire is among the deadliest in California's history, and it is the most destructive in the Oakland side of the San Francisco Bay since the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which killed 25 people and injured more than 100 others. The fire was so intense that one survivor said it felt like their skin was peeling. Another escaped victim likened it as being cooked in a concrete kiln.
The deadliest nightclub fire in the United States in recent decades occurred in 2003, when pyrotechnic effects by the rock band Great White set off an inferno at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island, killing about 100 people.
Images of the alleged victims reveals that the warehouse was filled with a young crowd, likely of the hipster or liberal snowflake leaning. Our prayers go out to each and every one of the victims, their families, and the loved ones who lost someone in their life as a result of this tragedy.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary