Death toll rises to 36 from warehouse fire in California: police

Curt Mills

With the death toll of the Oakland, California fire continuing to grow, the local district attorney's office has dispatched a criminal investigation team to look into the tragedy.

"When you have the amount of victims that we have, you don't rule anything out," Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department told The Los Angeles Times Sunday night. "People want answers. People want to know that the investigation into this fire is very thorough."

As of Monday morning, the death toll was 36.

Related: Images from the warehouse fire

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Kelly relayed that the district attorney's office has sent a team of criminal investigators to work alongside the police. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also sent representatives.

Californians are still looking Monday for answers as to what led to the fire at a warehouse Dec. 2, with 70 percent of the building searched. Officials warned that the death toll will likely rise.

The converted warehouse was known as the Ghost Ship, and served as a venue for the artistic community. A concert was underway when the fire broke out.

Kelly said that some of the victims were teenagers; the majority were in their 20s and 30s.

Some reports note how much wood was in the building, with the East Bay Times calling the warehouse a "quirky, cluttered, wood-filled space — with no smoke alarms or sprinklers."

City records show the building was under investigation in November for an "illegal interior building structure."

Some of the deceased's family members have complained about the nature of that investigation. Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo told the Bay Area News Group Saturday that nobody had answered the door when inspectors visited the building on Nov. 17, and that the city apparently did not try again before the time of the fire.

"We need to get our act together," Gallo said of the city.