CRIME

What You Can Do To Help After The Oakland Warehouse Fire

At least 36 people died in the fire, and as many as 20 tenants may have lost their homes.
A woman cries as she brings flowers near the scene of a warehouse where a fire broke out during an electronic dance party lat
A woman cries as she brings flowers near the scene of a warehouse where a fire broke out during an electronic dance party late Friday evening, resulting in at least nine deaths and many unaccounted for in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, California, U.S. December 3, 2016.

Bay-area residents are jumping into action to raise money and provide support for those affected by a fire that ravaged an Oakland, California, warehouse-turned-artist community.

At least 36 people died after a fire broke out late Friday night in the two-story structure during an electronic dance music party. Rescue workers continue to search the rest of the building for more bodies. 

A criminal investigation into the cause of the fire began on Sunday.

Here’s how you can help those affected:

The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, in coordination with the Oakland Mayor’s Office and the American Red Cross, created a YouCaring page to benefit victims and their families. As of Tuesday morning, the crowdfunding campaign had raised over $375,000.

The Red Cross and Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau set up a family assistance center located at 2425 East 12th Street in Oakland. 

The Oakland Raiders, Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors have joined forces in their fundraising efforts. Each team will match up to $50,000 of donations made via the Oakland A’s YouCaring page.

A GoFundMe campaign to support victims was created by Reina Lam, an account director at Oakland-based video production agency Glass & Marker. 

If you live in the Oakland area:

A document has been created to help connect volunteers and supplies with those in need. Users can post their name, contact info and available resources to the spreadsheet.

Two benefit shows for those affected by the fire will be performed on Dec. 7 at Midsummer Studios in Emeryville, California. The show will feature Kimya Dawson, Torrey Pines and Johnny Physical.

Here’s how you can help prevent fire disasters in your own home:

While officials are still investigating the cause of the deadly fire, it appears the warehouse failed to meet building code requirements and was known by some residents and visitors as a “death trap.” 

Aside from illegally housing tenants and parties, the structure was also home to “trailers, broken pianos and stacks of wood and a complex network of electrical cords and generators,” according to The New York Times.

The Red Cross website mentions several key measures everyone should take to ensure their living spaces are safe, including:

Smoke alarms

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Be sure to test them every month and change their batteries as needed.

Fire escape plan

Keep fire escapes clear at all times. Practice escaping your house twice a month. Make sure everyone knows where to meet once safely outside. Stop, drop and roll should your clothes catch fire.

Fire extinguishers

Remember the acronym PASS when using.

Portable heaters

Turn them off when you go to sleep or leave the house.

Never smoke in bed.

For more information on fire safety, visit redcross.org.

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