All 36 people killed in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire died of smoke inhalation, investigators say

Smoke inhalation killed all 36 people who perished in a December fire at an Oakland warehouse, according to investigators.

The causes of death were confirmed Saturday by the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau.

The Dec. 2 blaze broke out during a concert, trapping scores of people. The warehouse — known as the Ghost Ship — had an internal maze of structures, according to firefighters and former tenants, making it difficult for patrons to escape the quickly moving fire.

The victims ranged in age from 17 to 61.


Despite mounting evidence that the warehouse had been converted into an illegal residence and music venue, the city of Oakland never moved to shut it down, records show.

The city had received several complaints that conditions inside the warehouse were unsafe, including reports of piles of trash and faulty electrical wiring.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has opened a criminal investigation into the fire.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the causes of death, which were determined in December.


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11:05 a.m.: This article has been updated with staff reporting.

This article was originally published at 7:45 a.m.