Death toll in Ghost Ship fire climbs to 33

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Officials have confirmed that 33 people were found dead inside the site of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire, and that number is expected to rise. Officials estimate 35-40 percent of the warehouse has been searched.

ABC7 News just learned that one of the 33 victims has been identified as Donna Kellogg, a 32-year-old Oakland resident.

The Alameda County Sheriff's department has confirmed that one of their deputies lost a son in the fire. The Alameda County District Attorney has activated a criminal investigation team to look into the history of the warehouse.

Firefighters and police described that the search is painstaking and painful.

Search crews are on 12-hour shifts.

EMBED More News Videos

SUNDAY 8 AM NEWS CONFERENCE: Officials in Oakland announced 24 victims had recovered in the Ghost Ship fire overnight..

What they found at 31st Avenue and International Boulevard was overwhelming, even for seasoned professionals. "It was quiet, it was heartbreaking," Oakland Fire Dept. Batt. Chief Melinda Drayton said.

PHOTOS: At least 24 dead in Oakland warehouse fire

The sheriff's office announced 24 people had been found dead and everyone slumped in sadness when it was officially confirmed.

The first responders are reportedly exhausted, emotional, and they still have a long way to go.

RELATED: Oakland fire helpline, information for families

"At the point, we have approximately 80 percent left to search so within 12 hours of our operational briefing, we made it through 1/5 of the building. This will be a long and arduous process but we want to make sure that we are respecting the victims, their families and our firefighters' safety to work slowly and carefully through the building," Drayton said.

The sheriff's office says they're taking a somber approach to the effort, that it is quiet in there and heartbreaking.

They're taking stuff out bucket by bucket, sorting it in a vacant lot, and then taking it to an off-site location.

They found three victims on the east side of the building. Then they had to move rafters that had fallen in the middle of the building. Once they got out of the way, they found four victims together.

Then 10 feet away, they found six more.

That's a glimpse into the grim work they're doing in there. They're also concerned about what they call "widow makers," things that fall from the ceiling and hit crews while they work inside the building. These are slowing progress on their search for more victims.

The coroner's office has to identify these victims and has only made official notification to three families. They say there are some international victims, and are working to contact foreign governments and consulates.

They say they will need dental records and DNA to identify some people and that could take weeks.

One goal that is important to them is being respectful to the victims' memories.

If you are trying to locate a loved one, or need information call 510-382-3000 for information.

Click here to donate and help the the families of the victims. The Warriors, Raiders, and Athletics are also teaming up to match donations.

Click here to find out if people in the area are safe.

Click here for full coverage on the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.

A hotline has been put in place for those who cannot locate loved ones.

A hotline has been put in place for those who cannot locate loved ones.


Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.