Athletics give thousands to Oakland fire victims and families


The three East Bay Area California professional sports teams each contributed thousands of dollars towards the fund to aid victims and relatives of the Oakland warehouse fire that occurred last month.

The Oakland Athletics, Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders, all of whom currently play in the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and Oracle Arena complex, each donated $750,000 to the fund that had been put together to help the victims and families of the deadly fire that occurred in Oakland on December 2, 2016.

The fire which started at approximately 11:20 pm PT took place at an old warehouse that had been converted into an artist collective and also housing facility, in the Fruitvale neighborhood of the city. It was called the “Ghost Ship.”

The warehouse was hosting a house music party at the time that included artists from the local music label 100% Silk.

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At the time of the fire the warehouse had not been cleared to host parties or even residences. Unfortunately though it was still used for both purposes.

The warehouse was almost like attempting to find one’s way out of a maze according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed. There was not a sprinkler system nor working fire alarms on the premises. Only two stairwells led to exits and one was made entirely of wood.

The fire reportedly started from a broken refrigerator and for a long enough period of time remained unnoticed. By the time most of the 50 people in the warehouse were aware of the issue, it was too late for them to get out.

Only a few people from the warehouse’s upper level were able to get out, leaving 36 to perish in what was the deadliest fire in Oakland history. It was the deadliest fire in California since the 1906 earthquake and the most massive loss of life event  in the state since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

It was a scary moment in Northern California. Many people were using social media, mainly Twitter and Facebook, to simply say “I’m ok,” as no one whose friends or family were in Oakland knew at the time whether or not they were at the warehouse. Any number of people could or would have been there on any given day.

For the three teams that play their home games in Oakland to collectively contribute such a large amount to the victims and families of the, now infamous, Oakland Warehouse Fire, was an enormous gesture to the community.

The presentation of the funds was given to the City of Oakland and Red Cross during the Warriors and Detroit Piston’s game on Thursday night.

Golden State Warriors’ president and COO Rick Welts was joined by A’s manager Bob Melvin, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Trevor Riggen, regional CEO of the American Red Cross to give and to accept the generous donations from the teams that represent the City of Oakland, California.

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Oakland artists pay tribute to Oakland Warehouse Fire victims.