2 NJ men missing after Oakland warehouse fire
OAKLAND, CALIF. — Two men from New Jersey are among the missing following a deadly fire in California on Friday night.
24 people have been confirmed dead from the blaze that broke out in a 4,000-square-foot converted warehouse known as the Ghost Ship during a late night dance party.
Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly announced the new figure early Sunday. Only about 20 percent of the charred remains of the building have been searched. Oakland Battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton says fire crews worked through the night to clear debris from the gutted building.
The search for bodies is expected to continue at least 48 hours.
WABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News report Alex Ghassan formerly from Jersey City and Griffin Madden of Morristown are among the missing.
Ghasssan is a video producer and director professionally known as Alex G and the father of twins, according to CBS New York, and posted video on his Instagram account that appeared to be from inside the warehouse hours before the fire. "Oakland reminds me of #JerseyCity so much at times," Ghassasn commented.
Madden is one of three students from the University of California Berkeley reported missing and is a DJ.
"An all-vinyl DJ, Griffin’s goal is to bring honesty, love, and truth into the club," read a post on the website of the Berkeley brew house Jupiter.
Former residents of the warehouse said it was a death trap with few exits, a rickety makeshift staircase, piles of driftwood and a labyrinth of electrical cords. The ground floor had five recreational vehicles and other nooks used as living spaces that were rented out to tenants, while the upstairs had space for concerts like the deadly party that drew up to 100 people Friday night.
With few lights, the place could be pitch black. One staircase led to a boarded up door. The water and electricity were stolen from neighbors and often didn't work.
It's unclear what sparked the fire, but officials said the clutter served as a tinderbox and there were no sprinklers inside.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report