Criminal Probes Launched As Oakland Fire Death Toll Climbs To 36

OAKLAND (CelebrityAccess) — Investigators in the deadly fire that ripped through a warehouse party in Oakland have launched a criminal probe into the cause of the fire and potential building code violations.

According to the Los Angeles Times, investigators have now recovered 36 bodies from the ruined building, with only an estimated 70 percent of the remains of the structure searched.

“We absolutely believe the number of fire fatalities will increase,” Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton told the Times.

Investigators have yet to determine a cause of the blaze, which started during an electronic music event on Friday night. Drayton told the Times that investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will determine a plan on how to search the building for a cause of ignition and added that key areas of the building have been quarantined to preserve possible evidence.

Of the 36 recovered bodies, 11 have been identifies. Authorities released the names of seven victims on Sunday: Cash Askew, 22, David Cline, 23, Travis Hough, 35, and Donna Kellogg, 32, all of Oakland; Sara Hoda, 30, of Walnut Creek, Calif.; Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, of Hayward, Calif.; and Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, of Coronado, Calif. An 8th victim, an eight-year-old boy was withheld because he was a minor and 3 additional victim names are expected on Monday. – Staff Writers

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