A man places flowers to mourn the victims of a warehouse fire in Oakland, California, the United States, Dec. 4, 2016. Officials in Oakland, California, said on Sunday the death toll of a fire over the weekend in a warehouse rose to 24. (Xinhua/Xu Yong)
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Officials in Oakland, California, said the death toll of an overnight fire in a warehouse rose to 24 as of Saturday morning.
Sergeant Ray Kelly of Alameda County Sheriff's Office said about 20 percent of the warehouse, which was burnt out by a fire starting about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, had been searched.
Heavy machinery was brought in to the site on Saturday to help with cleaning up the debris and shore up the structure, designated only as a warehouse but turned into a party venue and probably a residence.
Officials initially said firefighters found nine victims of the blaze, which took place during an electronic music party in the two-story building in an industrial neighborhood in the Bay Area city east of San Francisco.
In a previous press conference, Kelly said he did not know how many people were in the building, and how many left, meaning that there was no exact number of people unaccounted for. On Sunday, he said the number could rise, as well as the death toll.
The building is now a crime scene investigated by local and federal law enforcement agencies. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf pledged a full investigation into the incident.