Artists and music lovers alike fell victim to a hellish demise after a massive fire ripped through a warehouse party in Oakland, California, on Friday, December 2.
The blaze, which 36 people reportedly perished in, engulfed the venue and left partygoers trapped inside the building holding onto each other and texting their loved ones "I'm going to die," SF Gate reports.
An eerie video was released that shows the moments before the fire consumed the artist collective nicknamed the "Ghost Ship."
In the footage, a faint pulse can be hard from music playing in the background. People can be seen calmly interacting with one another, completely unaware of the nightmarish scene that lay ahead.
Apparently, panic ensued quickly in the beginning of the blaze, and people thought the smoke was coming from a fog machine.
Chris Nechodom, a photographer who attended the party, allegedly spoke about the harrowing realization that partygoers had after the smoke became thicker.
It all happened within seconds. We started seeing people running around, frantic and screaming "fire."
Most victims were reportedly stuck on the second floor of the building where a makeshift stairwell hindered movement.
Alameda County sheriff's spokesman, Sgt. Ray Kelly, said rescuers found bodies left behind from the inferno were "holding each other," and "protecting each other."
Sheriff's officials said victims of the fire sent messages to their loved ones saying "I love you" and "I'm going to die" before the fire overcame them.
Although authorities cannot yet determine what caused the inferno, there is suspicion it began as an electrical fire.
Managers of the artist collective inside the warehouse — Derick Ion Almena and his wife, Micah Allison — are under their own fire right now for lack of permits and unsafe living conditions inside the building.
The East Bay Times reported there were no sprinklers in the building and that no fire alarms could be heard going off when crews arrived at the scene.
Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney allegedly said involuntary manslaughter charges could possibly result from those who died inside the blaze.
However, in an interview on the "Today" show, Alameda expressed his utter sorrow for the tragedy that took place. He said,
I am only here to say one thing; I am here to say I'm sorry.
Apparently, the couple had done all they could afford to do in order to make the warehouse safe, but their efforts sorely let them down.
On Monday, the Oakland community gathered for a vigil to honor those who perished in the blaze.
Citations: SF Gate