CALIFORNIA – As many as 9 people were killed while over two dozen went missing as a massive fire erupted at a dance party in a loft building in Oakland, California.

The blaze started at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday in the two-story warehouse in the city’s Fruitvale district where scores of artists and singers live.

Many of the victims were young people in their 20s or 30s.

According to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, number of casualties has not been confirmed and there’s a fear of increase in death toll.

“The roof has collapsed down onto the second floor, so we have to literally go in there piece by piece and move wood and timbers and debris in order to even get an assessment,” official said.


Local authorities  said they did not suspect arson however there was a possibility of violating building code violations that resulted into a catastrophe.

Video footage posted on social media showed flames shooting from the structure, which was adorned with elaborate graffiti and colorful murals. Adjacent areas were surrounded by heavy smoke as rescue operation started.