America's heartstrings tugged as news reports flooded in on Friday about a deadly warehouse party. Though only about a third of the building has been searched, officials report that the fire consumed the lives of at least 36 people in Oakland, California.
The death toll is only expected to increase. Firefighters have only uncovered 35% of the burned debris in the warehouse as the search and investigation persists; Up to 100 people were thought to be at the party before the fire broke out.
Youngest body uncovered
Recently, a 17 year old's body was pulled from the wreckage. The minor was identified as Draven McGill, a junior attending Ruth Asawa School of Arts. Draven was the son of Phil McGill - one of the deputies that works for the county's police department.
Alameda County Sheriff Sergeant Ray Kelly says the loss "hits very close to home." "Our department is hurting from that," he said.
People gather together
The victims range from teens to adults and came from all parts of the globe. Through this tragedy, people pray and gather in the streets as firefighters and investigators continue their search to find more people and uncover the cause of the deadly fire.
Barnaby Payne, the principal at the school Draven McGill attended says, "As sad as we are today, I know that how we react in challenging times is what defines us as a community. As parents, teachers, children, students, brothers, sisters and friends, we share in the heartbreak of his family and will embrace them and each other as Asawa family. We must rise to this occasion and rally around each other with love, compassion and support."
People have set up a memorial with flowers and candles near the warehouse in memory of McGill and the other lives lost. The Red Cross implores others across the nation to help by donating to a YouCaringpage to help the victims and families of the tragedy.
No one could have prevented this tragedy from taking place
Looking into the Oakland fire, we can can only have hope that investigators can discover the truth behind what started the fire and firefighters can reach people in time to save their lives.
We must always appreciate the people that we have in our lives while we have them; one day you could wake to find they are gone. Appreciate the memories you make now and cling to the future. Every moment counts, cherish them.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost friends and family.
Liset was raised in Panama but now calls Florida home. She graduated in communications and is now working towards her master's degree. Liset is very outspoken and outgoing. She enjoys anything that involves the ocean, soccer or dancing.