OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Investigators say smoke inhalation killed all 36 victims of a fire at a party at an Oakland warehouse.
The Alameda County coroner confirmed the causes of death Friday for the Dec. 2 fire at the warehouse and artists' colony known as the Ghost Ship.
Autopsies were performed in December, and the cause of death has been known for weeks, but came to light Friday when the San Francisco Chronicle called the coroner to check on the status of the investigation.
The result, while striking in its uniformity, is not surprising. Smoke inhalation is the most common cause of fire fatalities.
The blaze broke out during a dance party and quickly ripped through the cluttered warehouse. Oakland fire officials have yet to announce the cause of the blaze.
A former Coronado High School student was among those who died in the fire. Nick Gomez-Hall, who graduated from high school in 2009, had worked as a musician, teacher, community advocate, and independent publisher.
Coronado High School Principal Jennifer Moore issued the following statement after Gomez-Hall's death:
"Nick was wise, witty, talented, and incredibly kind and a friend to all. He was the type of student who seemed like a fellow adult when he would stop by his teachers' classrooms and counselors' and administrators' offices to chat about art, politics, history, literature, and life, as he often did. He was masterful in his ability to connect with others. He graduated from Brown University and was pursuing his passions, music and journalism."
David Cline, cousin of 10News sports director Ben Higgins, was also named among the dead following the fire.
Cline graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 and was embarking on a new job, Higgins told 10News.