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Murder Charges Are Possible After Oakland Warehouse Fire Killed at Least 36

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A massive warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif. that killed at least 36 people Friday night was “a potential crime scene,” officials said Monday as the ATF helped investigate what caused the blaze.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said murder or involuntary manslaughter charges are among the possible consequences of the fire.

“Right now, we have just started our investigation,” she said. “And we owe it to the community, to those who perished in this fire, and those who survived the fire to be methodical, to be thorough, and to take the amount of time it takes to be able to look at every piece of potential evidence. So that if — when we get to that point of making a decision, we know that we’re making the right decision, based on the evidence that we have discovered and has been presented.”

What’s not clear, yet, is whether there is any criminal liability, O’Malley said.

“Right now, we have just started our investigation,” she said. “And we owe it to the community, to those who perished in this fire, and those who survived the fire to be methodical, to be thorough, and to take the amount of time it takes to be able to look at every piece of potential evidence. So that if — when we get to that point of making a decision, we know that we’re making the right decision, based on the evidence that we have discovered and has been presented.”

The ATF was on the scene trying to determine where the fire began. Officials believe the fire started somewhere in the back of the warehouse.

“We are no closer to finding a cause,” said Melinda Drayton, battalion chief for the Oakland Fire Department.


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