Early on Saturday morning, Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed spoke with reporters at the scene of the fire. In the above clip, posted by an East Bay Times reporter, Deloach-Reed said that there's "still a lot of the building that needs to be searched." She also said a task force from Alameda County has been called in to assist in the fire investigation.Carmen Brito, a writer and artist who has resided at Ghost Ship for the past 11 months, described the venue as "the most beautiful space" she's lived in."I kind of described it like if an I Spy book had a baby with the Goonies movie, and it was a shipwreck of just old wood and Balinese beds and all of these statues and shrines," she told THUMP. "I've never seen anything like it and I don't think there will be anything quite like it again."
Brito arrived home around 7PM last night and ended up falling asleep. She woke up to her entire studio filled with smoke. After shouting for help, she eventually left her studio."I somehow got my shoes on and my coat on and by the time I stepped out of my space, I could see flames about 20 feet in front of me that were over eight feet high. Like an entire wall was covered," she said. Brito told other people to run out of the space, and left around 11:20 PM. Outside, she dialed 911, who arrived within minutes. Brito told THUMP one of her friends who also lived in the space is still missing.Aja Archuleta, who was scheduled to perform last night, was a Ghost Ship regular. She had just finished setting up her equipment for a performance around 1 AM and was filling in at the door."I barely had a minute to settle into my seat at the door when a pair of people on the first floor came running towards the door from the far end of the building yelling 'FIRE!' Archuleta told THUMP.Concerned friends and family members of possible guests at the venue took to social media to get confirmation of their loved ones' safety. A Facebook post listing performers and crew unaccounted surfaced on Saturday; it includes Cherushii (Chelsea Faith) and Nackt (Johnny Igaz). Dais Records confirmed Cash Askew of the band Them Are Us Too was among the deceased.
A Google spreadsheet has additionally been created to help identify the people missing. It also includes instructions and community resources for the local community."An entire community and family of musicians, artists, queers, and community organizers were in that building," Archuleta said. "Some of the purest and most amazing souls I have been blessed to know in this existence helped organize that event last night."On Saturday afternoon, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement on the incident via an email from the city's Police Department: "Last night's fire was an immense tragedy. I am grateful to our first responders for their efforts to deal with this deadly fire. Our focus right now is on the victims and their families and ensuring that we have a full accounting for everyone who was impacted by this tragedy. We are fully committed to sharing as much information as we can as quickly as possible."Amanda Brown, the founder of 100% Silk—an imprint of the label Not Not Fun, which she runs with her husband, Britt Brown—released a statement on Facebook early on Saturday afternoon, expressing her grief. "What happened in Oakland is an unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario. Britt and I are beside ourselves, utterly devastated," she wrote. "We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families." Read the entire statement below.
Many in the music world have offered messages of support for those affected.
That Oakland fire situation is really scary. My condolences to everyone & their families. ?
— kehlani (@Kehlani)December 3, 2016
THUMP will update this post as the story develops.
praying for everyone who was at ghost ship in east oakland ?the fire is massive please check in with each other
— 8ULENTINA (@8ULENTINA)December 3, 2016