Oakland warehouse fire search continues

The death toll rose to 33 Sunday afternoon, and officials in Oakland said they expect that number will only rise. There was an assembly line of first responders removing material from that warehouse bucket by bucket.

A 24/7 recovery operation played out at the "Ghost House" described as an art workspace that doubled as an illegal place to live although it was zoned as a warehouse.

Search teams slowed by concerns about the buildings stability but continue to find victims.

"They are not all in one area. We’re finding people throughout the entire building,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, Sheriff's Office

Former residents describe the building as a death trap with few exits. Parties like the one that drew up to 100 people Friday night were on not uncommon.

"I didn’t see very many come, just the people outside. Not seeing anybody come out was a scary site," said one witness.

"It was just inferno, just a blazing fire,” said another.

Officials said they identified 7 victims this afternoon.

Among the many still missing is Alex Ghassan, a 35-year-old film producer with ties to New York and New Jersey, who split his time in the Bay Area for work opportunities.

"I was heartbroken. I figured maybe he was somewhere and would call soon. 12 or 13 hours after he posted on Instagram,” said one of Ghassan’s friends.

Ghassan posted a video showing the dark club and made a reference to how it reminded him of home.

"Just recently things were going in the direction that he'd hoped," said one of his friends, Jonathan Fouabi.

The coroner’s office asked friends and family with loved ones still missing to preserve items like combs and tooth brush, which may help with identifying bodies.

"If we come across a victim, we have to resort to DNA,” said the Coroner’s office.

The Mayor of Oakland warned against making assumptions about the warehouse and the kind of activity that played out there, but said the District Attorney’s already had a team on the ground.

"In a matter that allows us to fully investigate this incident so when can get the  bottom,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf.

In terms of recovery, only about 30% of the building had been searched.

The victims range in age from 17 to mid-30's

The city of Oakland received complaints about blight and unpermitted interior construction at the building.

On November 17, 2016, a city building inspector visited the property and verified the blight complaint, but could not gain access to the building to confirm the other complaints.

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