OAKLAND, Calif. (CBSNewYork) — Many victims of the deadly Oakland warehouse fire spent their final moments sending text messages, saying “I love you” and “goodbye.”
By Tuesday evening, 36 bodies were recovered, one of which remained unidentified.
Crews searched most of the Ghost Ship warehouse, which was the site of a deadly fire on Friday night. One small section still needs to be secured before workers can finish combing through the rest of the building, CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reported.
“We’re going to continue to the process until absolutely every piece of debris is removed from this building, every area has been searched,” Johann Watson, of the Oakland Police Department, said.
The manager of the warehouse, Derick Almena, was spotted at the site early Tuesday morning, apologizing for the tragedy. Artists said he charged them rent to live in the unpermitted space, despite potential hazards.
Officials said they do not expect to find more victims in the rubble.
Now, a criminal investigation is underway.
It’s unclear how the ferocious fire started, but investigators know the cluttered living space helped fuel the flames.
Records show numerous complaints and violations, including “illegal interior building structure” and a “ton of garbage piling up.”
A makeshift memorial nearby continued to grow, as the grieving community tried to come to terms with the loss.
“This is the first time coming back to this little area,” Oakland resident Phyllis Waukazoo said. “It’s just really upsetting for a lot of us.”