(OAKLAND, Calif.) — A refrigerator is being eyed as the “possible” point of origin in the Oakland warehouse fire that killed more than 30 people, an official briefed on the probe tells ABC News.
Investigators are working to determine if there was criminal liability, and if so, against whom, in the horrific blaze that killed 36 people after it sparked Friday night, said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.
An electrical fire broke out Friday night at the warehouse, nicknamed the Ghost Ship, during a concert party with as many as 100 people in attendance, authorities said.
Darin Ranelletti, who is serving as the interim director of the city’s Planning and Building Department, told the press that the party required a permit, which he said was not obtained.
Survivors of the inferno recalled waking up to a “wall of fire” and billowing smoke so powerful that it opened a window, letting in oxygen that apparently intensified the blaze.
Some victims texted messages to relatives such as, “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.
The warehouse is under investigation to determine whether it was used to house people illegally, Ranelletti said.
The Ghost Ship is purportedly run by a married couple, Derick Ion Almena and Micah Allison, but the building is owned by Chor Nar Siu Ng, a woman who appeared to have little involvement with its usage as a place for artist studios and a performance space for musicians.
“They’re my children. They’re my friends, they’re my family, they’re my loves, they’re my future. What else do I have to say?” Almena told ABC San Francisco station KGO-TV.
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