A member of dream-pop band Them Are Us Too has been confirmed as among the dead in a warehouse rave fire in Oakland, California at the weekend.
According to latest reports, the fire has claimed at least 33 lives, with authorities fearing the death toll could be higher.
The blaze broke out at the Ghost Ship, a converted warehouse in the city, at 23:30 local time on Friday (December 2), according to police. Between 50 and 100 people were thought to have been inside the venue. Many attendees are still missing.
As Pitchfork reports, Cash Askew, 22, of Bay Area dream-pop band Them Are Us Too has been confirmed to have passed in the tragedy. A statement from the band’s management and label reads: “Cash Askew was an absolutely loved and treasured member of the Dais Records family. We were in awe of her talent, her gentle kindness, and her creative momentum… her passing is an excruciating loss that we may never fully process or recover from.” Them Are Us Too’s debut album, ‘Remain’, was released in 2015.
Oakland fire chief Teresa Deloche-Reed recently 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.
A donation fund to help those affected has been started and has raised over $212,198 at the time of writing. You can find more information and donate to the fund here.
Musicians have begun paying 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.”
i don't pray ever but sending so many prayers to oakland right now.
— DIIV (@DIIV) December 3, 2016
This is our scene. These are our friends. This is a terrible tragedy. Please help if you can https://t.co/hqEAlnmRnn
— 𝖈𝖑𝖎𝖕𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖌. (@clppng) December 3, 2016
🙏🏽ing for everyone who was at the rave in Oakland last night.
— KREAY VAN HALEN (@KREAYSHAWN) December 3, 2016
— Ben UFO (@BenUFO) December 4, 2016