OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The Alameda County Sheriff Department says they have identified seven of the nine people confirmed dead in the deadly Oakland warehouse fire. The coroner is in the process notifying their next of kin.
According to UC Berkeley’s student paper, The Daily Californian, at least three of the missing are UC students.
Meantime, families of the missing were bracing themselves for what no parent, sibling or friend wants to hear about a loved one.
“I’m very frustrated, I just want to go over there,” said Dan Vega. His little brother, Alex and Alex’s girlfriend, Michaela Gregory are among the missing.
Like so many families, he is trying to find hope and clarity in the darkness of the rubble.
“I don’t understand what we’re doing here. This is fruitless.”
Vega along with several friends and family of the missing stood blocks away from the last place they were seen alive. They held one another and had blank stares of disbelief.
All he can do now is wait.
“I just want to find my brother,” says Vega. “I don’t know where he is.”
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire
Others sought solace within their communities.
“I have four friends that are still unaccounted for,” says Genevieve Griesau.
Saturday night The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland hosted an interfaith vigil where Griesau sat with dozens of others.
The hall was filed with donated flowers and candles burning for the missing. There was a condolence book for people to sign.
“They were amazing you know, amazing,” says Griesau. “And you know I am sorry for everyone’s loss. It’s the people I didn’t know – I can’t even… it’s mind blowing, heartbreaking.”
From what officials are saying, there’s only more heartbreak to come. The number of dead will likely increase as the investigation continues.
“Think when they woke up this morning, hear that your baby is in a fire and might never come home. You don’t know if your kid is dead or alive. It’s sad,” says Chapel of the Chimes spokesperson Todd Walker.
Meanwhile, for those who need help, the Red Cross and Alameda County have set up a shelter at 2425 E. 12th Street. People looking for a loved one can go there in person or call 510-382-3000.