In the immediate aftermath of the tragic fire that took 36 lives in Oakland, the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts launched a fund to help the families of victims. The fund has already raised over $550,000 of its $750,000 goal, and has now announced a benefit show to help raise the rest of the money.
The Oakland United: A Benefit for the Oakland Fire Relief concert will be held on December 14th at the Fox Theater in Oakland.
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire https://t.co/23FaNAhmEG
— Bay Area Art Grind (@bayareaartgrind) December 5, 2016
Between 50 and 100 people were thought to have been inside the venue where Golden Donna and six other artists were due to perform. It is feared as many as 40 people could have died in the fire, with many concert-goers missing, as BBC News reports.
Oakland fire chief Teresa Deloche-Reed told reporters the building did not have a sprinkler system and no alarms were heard by firefighters upon their arrival.
She also said the complex was packed with furniture, mannequins and other objects that obstructed the fire crew’s efforts in stopping the fire. “It was filled end to end with furniture, whatnot, collections. It was like a maze almost,” she said.
Deloche-Reed also said the only exit from the venue’s second floor was a staircase made from wooden pallets.
Darin Ranelletti, a building and planning chief in Oakland, said the city had received complaints about unpermitted construction on the site of the Ghost Ship. He added that the city was aware of reports that people were living there, despite no permits for habitation being issued.
Musicians paid their respects to those affected on Twitter. Clipping tweeted: “This is our scene. These are our friends. This is a terrible tragedy. Please help if you can.” DIIV added: “i don’t pray ever but sending so many prayers to oakland right now.”