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Oakland Warehouse Fire Update

Home » Oakland Warehouse Fire Update
December 11, 2016
Edward Smith


Oakland Warehouse Fire Update

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Burn Injury Lawyer, and on 2 December, 36 people died at an electronic music concert at the Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse. This has been a devastating loss for so many families. Our hearts are heavy as we continue to provide our readers with regular updates on this tragic bay area warehouse fire.

Official Details of What Happened

Preliminary investigation reports released now conclusively show that the fire started on the first floor of the warehouse near an exterior wall. The fire spread rapidly throughout the first floor and ascended two wooden stairwells into the second floor section of the warehouse where the concert was being held.

No Smoke Alarms

The building did not have smoke alarms or emergency lighting. Neither of the stairwells from the second floor to the first floor led to an exit, but at no point were any of the people within the warehouse more than 75 feet from the outside. By the time concert-goers became aware of the fire, the entire first floor of the warehouse was engulfed in flames.

The Cause of the Fire

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a refrigerator did not cause the fire, contrary to initial media reports. Investigators believe electrical wiring within the warehouse is responsible and they have no reason believe that the fire was arson.

Investigation Into Responsibility

As the details emerged, the city of Oakland has vowed to identify those responsible and ensure that similar fires cannot occur. No persons have been identified as directly responsible for the fire, but investigators are determining whether the building was code compliant. Additionally, Oakland city records indicate that the building had not been inspected for building codes or fire compliance in over 30 years.

The Victims

No matter the cause or the persons responsible, 36 people died and dozens of families have been irreparably impacted. For every official detail released, several new details emerge about the victims. They were children, parents, educators, artists, music-lovers, and so much more and the community mourns their passing. For a full list of those who perished and to learn about their lives, visit

Experienced Wrongful Death and Burn Injury Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento burn injury lawyer. If you or someone you are close to has been hurt or has died in a fire, please call me right away at (916) 921-6400 or on my toll-free number (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. During your call, we will go over the details of your loss and determine how best to move forward. There is no obligation to you and the call is free.

I have been providing legal assistance to families with wrongful death and burn injury claims for over thirty years.

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Source of Oakland warehouse fire update:

Image Attribution: Courtesy of Juliana Brown, via Wikimedia commons – images in the public domain