Several people dead, 25 missing in Oakland fire

Several people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a converted warehouse late Friday night in Oakland, Calif., according to fire officials. Authorities say at least another 25 people are unaccounted for.

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Graves said the death toll could go much higher.

"We are preparing for the worst, which would be about 40 people.

"It may not be that many. These people could be at the hospital or with friends. That's just the worst case we are preparing for," Graves said.

"There wasn't a clear entry or exit path up on the second floor. If (the fire) had started in that area (by the stairwell), then everyone on the second floor" would have had trouble escaping.

"It must have been a very fast-moving fire," Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said.

A witness to the fire describes trying to get people out of the building.

Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area say they are prepared to deal with up to 40 deaths after a fire broke out at a warehouse party in Oakland, California.

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