Oakland officials announced earlier today that the recovery effort at the Ghost Ship, the site of this weekend’s tragic warehouse fire, has ended. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the final death toll stands at 36.
The Alameda County sheriff department says that 35 of the victims found have been identified, but officials are still lacking any type of identification for one person. Several artists and musicians were among the dead, including Cash Askew, 22, of the Bay Area dream-pop band Them Are Us Too; Micah Danemayer, 28, who performed electronic music under the name Paralycyst; Travis Hough, 35, who played in the band Ghosts Of Lightning; Denalda Nicole Renae, 29, and Ben Runnels, 32, of the band Introflirt; Chelsea Faith Dolan, 33, aka the producer Cherushii, Johnny Igaz, 34, who DJed as Nackt; and Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, who sang in the duo Symbiotix.Fungi.
According to federal investigators, the fire began on the first floor and grew rapidly. By the time the attendees of the electronic music show on the second floor detected it, they were trapped. A refrigerator has been named as the potential source of the fire, but investigators say it’s still too soon to say for sure. Oakland officials have declared a local state of emergency, which will be ratified by the Oakland City Council tomorrow, beginning the process for state and federal aid.
Yesterday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced a $1.7 million investment to “support sustainable, long-term solutions to creating affordable, safe spaces for Oakland’s artists and arts organizations.” Though the project had been in development for months, it has become “especially important and prescient in light of the recent Oakland warehouse fire tragedy,” according to a press release. With funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the William And Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Community Arts Stabilization Trust will launch financial and technical assistance programs to help arts organizations facing displacement. CAST will also acquire Oakland real estate to create new, safe arts spaces.