Refrigerator or Other Appliance Potential Source of Warehouse Fire: Official | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Refrigerator or Other Appliance Potential Source of Warehouse Fire: Official

The fire broke out during a dance party Friday night in Oakland

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
    Search and rescue crews work at the site of a warehouse fire Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Oakland, California.

    Investigators honed in on a refrigerator and other electrical appliances as possible causes of the fire at a warehouse in Oakland that killed 36 people, as crews were set to finish their search for bodies. 

    The death toll in the most lethal building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade was not expected to go higher. 

    What Are Soundwave Tattoos?

    [NATL] What Are Soundwave Tattoos?

    What if tattoos could talk? That's what Nate Siggard, CEO and founder of Skin Motion, is trying to do with his soundwave tattoo app. It works like this: users can upload sounds and voices to the app, creating a waveform of the audio. They can print out these waveforms and have them turned into tattoos. They can point their mobile phone or tablet device at the tattoo and use the app to play back the sound.

    (Published 5 hours ago)

    A refrigerator was a potential source of the fire, but it was too soon to say for sure, said Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

    Snyder said investigators were looking at "anything electrical" on the first floor of the warehouse near the origin of the blaze. 

    "We have no indication that this was intentionally set," she said. 

    Tearful family members visited the scene Tuesday and exchanged hugs hours after the founder of the arts collective that used the warehouse stood near the gutted building and said he was "incredibly sorry."

    Derick Ion Almena said he was at the site to put his face and his body in front of the scene, but he deflected blame for the blaze, saying he signed a lease for the building that "was to city standards supposedly." 

    "Everything that I did was to make this a stronger and more beautiful community and to bring people together," Almena told the "Today Show" on NBC

    The fire broke out during a dance party Friday night in the cluttered warehouse. It had been converted to artists' studios and illegal living spaces, and former denizens said it was a death trap of piled wood, furniture, snaking electrical cords and only two exits. 

    Almena did not respond to emails or calls to phone numbers associated with him by The Associated Press. He told NBC Bay Area that he didn't attend the event Friday night and that he and his wife had decided to stay at a hotel because he was exhausted. 

    The 'Greatest Show on Earth' Says Goodbye

    [NATL-NY] The 'Greatest Show on Earth' Says Goodbye

    The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus that has wowed crowds for 146 years with its "Greatest Show on Earth" is taking its final bow on Sunday.

    (Published Sunday, May 21, 2017)

    City and state officials fielded years of complaints about dangerous conditions, drugs, neglected children, trash, thefts and squabbles at the warehouse, raising questions about why it wasn't shut down. The district attorney warned of possible murder charges as she determines whether there were any crimes linked to the blaze. 

    A building inspector who went to an Oakland warehouse on Nov. 17 after receiving a complaint of illegal interior construction left after being unable to get inside. 

    Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said late Tuesday the inspector followed procedure and later sent a request to the owner to gain entry. She did not reveal the outcome of that request. 

    Under the Oakland city code, building officials and fire marshals need court permission to enter commercial lodgings if the owner or manager refuses access. 

    Building inspectors typically cannot force entry to a property unless there are pressing circumstances, Schaaf said. 

    Crews had searched 90 percent of the building known as the "Ghost Ship" for bodies as of Tuesday and were expecting to complete the rest of the search by midnight. Fire officials started knocking down parts of the building that they said were structurally unsound. 

    Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said that of the 36 victims found, 35 have been identified and 20 of their families have been notified. Officials are still lacking any type of identity for one person. 

    Stories of the victims' last minutes, meanwhile, emerged. 

    WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    [NATL] WATCH: Pippa Middleton Post-Wedding Kiss

    Pippa Middleton and James Matthews kiss after their wedding at St Mark's Church in Englefield, England, on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Middleton, the sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, married hedge fund manager James Matthews in a ceremony Saturday. Her niece and nephew, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were in the wedding party, along with sister Kate and princes Harry and William.

    (Published Saturday, May 20, 2017)

    Alameda County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said that some of the victims texted relatives, "I'm going to die," and "I love you." 

    Rescue crews found bodies of people "protecting each other, holding each other," Kelly said.