Vanessa Plotkin, a UC Berkeley student, and Griffin Madden, a UC Berkeley alumnus, have been identified as victims in the Oakland fire that occurred Friday, according to a press release issued by the city of Oakland on Tuesday night.
In the new press release, the city of Oakland released the names of nine more victims of the fire. The seven other confirmed victims are Billy Dixon, Johnny Igaz, Ara Jo, Amanda Allen, Hanna Ruax, Nicole Siegrist and Alex Vega.
The city of Oakland released the identities of seven victims Sunday and 10 victims Monday, which included UC Berkeley alumnus David Cline; Nick Gomez-Hall, who worked at Counterpoint Press in West Berkeley; and Donna Kellogg, who worked at Berkeley’s Highwire Coffee Roasters.
The fire occurred at a warehouse called “Ghost Ship” about 11:15 p.m. Friday. As of Tuesday night, 36 victims have been discovered in the wreckage, 90 percent of which has been searched by city officials. Of these 36 victims, the city has released the names of 26. The identity of a 17-year-old victim has been confirmed but is being withheld from the public as the victim was a minor.
Firefighters have determined the potential point of origin of the fire, said Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton in a press conference Monday. Near the back of the first floor of the warehouse, a section containing significant charring and damage has been quarantined off for additional investigation, according to Drayton.
At a press conference Tuesday evening, Oakland Fire Department Chief Teresa Deloach Reed declared the city of Oakland to be in a “local state of emergency,” a decision that will be ratified by Oakland City Council on Thursday. This decision will make the city eligible for state or federal reimbursement to support its community through this disaster. Several local businesses — such as the Wendy’s across the street from the “Ghost Ship” warehouse — will be refunded for the profits they have lost as a result of the recovery efforts proceeding the fire.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf will hold a press conference Wednesday at the downtown emergency operations center. The time for this briefing has not yet been announced.