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At Least 9 Killed In Oakland Fire During Warehouse Party

At least nine people were killed after a fire broke out at a party in a warehouse space in Oakland, Calif., according to the city's fire chief.

There are at least another 25 people unaccounted for, Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said Saturday morning, according to The Associated Press.

From television station KTVU:

"Alameda County Sheriffs Office Sergeant J.D. Nelson says the building is not safe enough to enter. He also says the coroner's office is preparing for 40 or more bodies. No bodies have been removed from the building. Nelson says this is the largest mass casualty they have prepared for since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake."

The fire started around 11:30 p.m. Friday, in a two-story warehouse in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, according to the East Bay Times, during an electronic music show headlined by Golden Donna of Madison, Wisc.

Friends posted on the event's Facebook page, searching for information about people still missing. More than 190 people had RSVP'd for the Facebook event as of Saturday. A Google document compiled for friends and family members to gather updates listed 28 people as missing, two people safe in the hospital and one safe as of Saturday morning local time.

Fire Chief Reed described the space as a "makeshift warehouse" that people had converted into a "live-work type facility."

Most of those killed by the fire were on the second floor and there was no evidence of sprinklers, the fire chief said, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Video from the Oakland Firefighters Local 55 shows a massive blaze with plumes of smoke visible blocks away.

"We still have to do a more thorough search of the building and we don't know the potential number of other victims," Reed said, according to the East Bay Times, which added that no firefighters were injured.

About 50 people lived in the building, the Times said, describing it as an "artists' collective."

"It was too hot, too much smoke, I had to get out of there," photographer Bob Mule, who lives in the building, told the newspaper. "I literally felt my skin peeling and my lungs being suffocated by smoke. I couldn't get the fire extinguisher to work."

The roof of the building collapsed and firefighters were still waiting for the building to be safe enough to enter, KTVU reports as of Saturday morning.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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