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Pair used sound of voices to get through back smoke and escape burning Oakland warehouse, witness says

People who managed to escape the Oakland warehouse that caught fire during a concert late Friday night described a horrific scene.

Al Garcia, who owns a store next to the warehouse, said he talked to two people who said they were 17 and 18 years old who got out of the building.

“They said that black, billowing smoke was coming down the stairs,” said Garcia, 62. “They couldn’t see anything in front of them, anything behind them. The only reason they got out was they heard voices outside. The voices directed them to where they were going.”

The teens said they paid $10 to get into the warehouse party, which they found online, Garcia said.

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Authorities sent up a drone above the burned-out warehouse Saturday to take pictures of the ruins. Three coroners vans parked along the backside of the building.

The second floor of the industrial building, which appeared to be mostly brick covered in plaster, apparently housed a large party space.

A narrow back-door entrance on International Avenue had a double lock on the door. Saturday morning, the lock was twisted, like someone had tried to break through it.

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