Oakland warehouse fire: Anxious moments for family, friends

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- Several dozen people have been found safe and reunited with their loved ones following a fire that broke out Friday night at a warehouse in Oakland's Fruitvale district but several more remained missing Saturday.

Alameda County officials estimate that up to 25 people could have died in the fire, a pronouncement that has raised anxiety among relatives and friends who are looking for attendees who were at the event. Many people still looking for their loved ones said they would spend Saturday night at the Family Services building, where they hoped they would get answers.

"My brother goes to raves so I called him up and it went straight to voice mail," said Dan Vega, whose younger brother was missing as of Saturday night. "I called him again (before) I called my mom and I was like 'Where's my little brother?'"

David Gregory said his daughter's whereabouts remain unknown as of Saturday night. 

"A friend of my daughter called my wife and (asked) her 'Is Michela home because she went to the party last night'" he said. "That's how we found out that she came. We had no idea."

Terry Ewing said his girlfriend was missing. 

"Some friends came to my house this morning and let me know there was a fire," he said.

Alex Vega and his longtime girlfriend, Michela Gregory, were regular attendees at local raves. Friends of the two told their relatives they had been seen at the party. Numerous calls to the Vega family went unanswered and the relatives set out to find their loved one.

"My parents went to the San Bruno BART station and her car is still there," said Dan Vega, who is the older brother to Alex. "When I called one of his friends who he's normally with, I guess he was there but he left. I want to find my brother."

Friends and family of the missing started showing up at the Alameda Sheriff's Office as early as 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The staff was working to make the visitors comfortable.

"They're getting us phone chargers and coffee when they can," said Terry Ewing, whose girlfriend is missing. "We're just awaiting more information."

The lack of information has prompted some anxiety among relatives.

"There are nine bodies in the morgue and we don't know who they are," said David Gregory, whose daughter is missing.

Said Dan Vega: "I just want to find (my brother). If he is in the rubble, fine. I will get over that but I just want to find him."

The center is staying open around the clock and that is providing some measure of comfort.

"It's better than sitting at home knowing nothing," said Kim Gregory, who is still searching for her daughter.

Said David Gregory: "I'm hoping for a miracle."

By KTVU reporter Leigh Martinez.

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