San Francisco

Families, Friends Take to Facebook to Search For Those Missing in Oakland Warehouse Fire

City property records show multiple complaints filed against "Ghost Ship" building where fire broke out last night, including "pending habitability" complaint

Loved ones of those unaccounted for in the massive Oakland warehouse fire that broke out Friday night took to Facebook Saturday morning to search for them.

Those who knew the nine killed in the fire, posted condolence messages, some from as far away as New Orleans and Montreal.

According to an event page created on Facebook, Los Angeles-based Golden Donna was scheduled to perform at a party at the warehouse on 1305 31st Ave. in Oakland, as part of the 100% Silk 2016 West Coast Tour from 9 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.

Oakland Police Deaprtment spokesperson Johnna Watson said at a press conference the party was attended by young people, most of them in their twenties. Attendees included people from outside the United States, she said. Officials made a plea to the public to remember any distinguising features about those missing, such as a tattoo, that would help to identify them.

The fire broke out at 11:24 p.m., Alameda County fire officials said, adding that it’s estimated dozens were still inside the building when it was engulfed in flames.

On the event Facebook page, people were leaving messages asking about the safety of those missing, as well as notes for those who had lost their lives.

"I'm so sorry to those that lost their lives," Linda Parrett Ryan wrote. "Condolences to their family and friends. This is heart breaking."

San Francisco resident David Marks created a Google document list with names of people still missing, adding phone numbers, Facebook profile links and distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos and piercings to aid in the search.

“PLEASE comment if you know 100% if any of these people are safe,” he wrote. “If you DONT see a name here you KNOW to be missing tell us please. And please only comment here if you know something for sure.”

A Fire in Oakland Safety Check Facebook page has also been created so those who were in the area could also mark themselves safe. 

Facebook user Sam Machado wrote that her cousin Madison Machado had attended the party last night, but had yet to let them know she was safe.

“We are the parents of Joey (Joseph) Matlock aka Joey Casio. We were just alerted to this tragedy and that Joey's name is on the missing person list. If anyone has any information about Joey, please contact us. Praying...,” wrote Kathe and John Matloc.

“Prayers for the lost prayers for the survivors,” wrote Nathan Nelson

“Hopes and prayers out for those missing... and also for all the families and friends worried about loved ones... This is awful news, I hope you all can find some solace in these dark times,” wrote Lucas Seymour-Willey

Oakland police said anyone trying to get information about people missing in the fire should contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau at (510)-382-3000.

On social media, people referred to the building as the “Oakland Ghost Ship,” an artist's conclave. According to the Oakland Ghost Ship Tumblr page, the building is home to Max Ohr’s Deeper Magic Tattoo Studio. 

The building's name has nothing to do with the San Francisco Halloween Ghost Ship party, organizers for that event said.

City of Oakland property records show multiple complaints have been filed against the property's owner, one most recently as Nov. 14 for "housing habitability," involving an illegal interior building structure. City officials were in the process of investigating the complaint when the fire broke out.

A complaint was filed on Nov. 13 for garbage piling up on the property, as well as trash left on the sidewalk, some of which was reportedly hazardous. Records show previous complaints for blight on property as well. 

Property records indicated the building is owned by a trust managed by Chor N. Ng of Oakland.[[404490006, C]]

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