Thousands of people gathered in Oakland, California, for a candlelit vigil, mourning the deaths of those who were killed in a warehouse fire on Friday night (2 December).

Oakland fire vigil
Brian Hough holds a photograph of his son Travis, who was among the deceased at the warehouse fire, during a vigil in Oakland, CAStephen Lam/ Reuters

The confirmed death toll rose to 36 on Monday (5 December) and roughly 50 people have been reported missing, although officials say it is unlikely the number will rise to much more. The cause of the fire remains unknown. The district attorney has warned of possible murder charges as she determines whether there were any crimes linked to the blaze.

Oakland fire vigil
Hundreds of people attend a vigil for the victims of a warehouse fire in Oakland, CAElijah Nouvelage/ Getty Images
Oakland fire vigil
A woman wipes away tears during a vigil in Oakland, CAElijah Nouvelage/ Getty Images

The fire broke out at the property, known as the Ghost Ship, at 11:30pm (07:30 GMT on Saturday). The warehouse served as a base for the Ghost Ship Artists Collective, was one of many converted lofts in the city's Fruitvale district, a mostly Latino area where rents are generally lower than in the rest of Oakland. Some reports suggest people had also been living there despite its use being permitted only as a warehouse.

Oakland fire vigil
People hold signs at a vigil for the victims of the warehouse fire in Oakland, CALucy Nicholson/ Reuters
Oakland fire vigil
Tex Allen gives out hugs during a vigil honouring those who died in the fire in Oakland, CAJosh Edelson/ AFP
Oakland fire vigil
A firefighter embraces a child during a vigil for the victims of the fatal warehouse fire in Oakland, CAStephen Lam/ Reuters
Oakland fire vigil
Two men embrace at a vigil for the victims in Oakland, CAElijah Nouvelage/ Getty Images

Survivors recounted having to struggle to escape the burning building. Many of the victims were on a makeshift second floor served by a rickety staircase of wooden pallets. Visitors described the structure as a warren of scrap wood, sofas, old pianos and electrical cables. Photos of the warehouse before the fire have since emerged, showing it to be warren of partitioned studio spaces crammed with items including furniture, wall hangings and sculptures. The site was already under investigation by the authorities when the fire destroyed the building.

Oakland fire vigil
Family members hold photos of their son during a vigil for those who died in the fire in Oakland, CAJosh Edelson/ AFP
Oakland fire vigil
A flowers and a picture of fire victim Cash Askew are pinned to a sidewalk memorial is seen near the burned warehouse following the fatal fire in the Fruitvale district of OaklandLucy Nicholson/ Reuters
Oakland fire vigil
A sidewalk memorial is seen near the burned warehouse following the fireLucy Nicholson/ Reuters
Oakland fire vigil
Mourners place flowers and candles during a vigil honouring those who died in the fire in Oakland, CAJosh Edelson/ AFP
Oakland fire vigil
People gather at the Lake Merritt Pergola during a vigil for the victims of the fatal warehouse fire in Oakland, CAStephen Lam/ Reuters