Several of the 36 people who died in Oakland warehouse fire texted goodbye messages
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Several of the 36 people who died in an Oakland warehouse fire texted goodbye messages to their families, an official said Monday.
Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly told reporters Monday some of the victims texted relatives, “I’m going to die,” and “I love you.”
Kelly says rescue crews have found bodies of people “protecting each other, holding each other.”
Hundreds of people holding candles honored those who died in the fire at a vigil Monday night in Oakland’s Lake Merritt.
The founder of an Oakland artists’ colony where a fire erupted says he didn’t know the party was taking place and that police had visited the place several times.
Derick Ion Almena told San Jose television station KNTV in an interview Monday that he wasn’t at the warehouse Friday night because he and his wife had decided to stay at a hotel because he was exhausted and their children had school.
He says about 20 people lived there as part of a collective of young artists and that he was like the group’s grandfather.
He says police have been in and out of the building in the last few years to respond to break-ins and other concerns of people who lived there and that they never pointed out any safety concerns.
Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern says sheriff’s officials don’t believe additional bodies will be found in the Oakland warehouse fire.
Ahern told The Associated Press Monday he couldn’t be absolutely positive until the entire recovery effort was complete. The death toll is at 36.
Fire officials have said crews have gone through roughly three-quarters of the building.
The blaze erupted during a dance party late Friday night.
Investigators with the district attorney’s office are making sure crews removing debris don’t jeopardize any evidence in a potential criminal investigation.