VIDEO: Fridge ruled out as Oakland fire ignition source, but what is this?

Photo Credit: Terisa Estacio



OAKLAND (KRON) — The refrigerator is officially ruled out as the cause of the Oakland warehouse fire, according to ATF’s Jill Snyder.

Moments after she made that announcement, KRON4’s Terisa Estacio, saw crews pulling this strange, scorched object from the building.

Federal sources told Terisa Estacio the object is an “electrical component,” that might serve as evidence of what ignited the horrific fire on 31st Avenue.

The charred material was put in a van, where the ATF mobile unit is taking X-Rays of the item for further evaluation by electrical engineers.

Speaking at a news conference across the street from the “Ghost Ship” a warehouse at 1315 31st Ave., Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder with the San Francisco office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives said investigators are looking at other electrical items as the possible ignition source for the deadly blaze but no conclusions have been reached so far.

Snyder said electrical engineers and other fire investigators who are at the scene are looking at “everything that’s electrical” but haven’t determined that something electrical caused the blaze.

Snyder said on Tuesday that a refrigerator near the back of the building was a possible ignition source but that had not been conclusively determined.

She said Friday that, “The refrigerator was in the area of the origin but it did not the cause of the fire.”

Snyder said investigators still don’t think the fire was started intentionally and added that one possibility is that investigators could rule that the cause is undetermined.

“That means that we do not without question know what the source of ignition was for the fire,” she said.

Electrical items that investigators are looking at include outlets and power cords, Snyder said.

A forensic mapping team arrived at the fire site Friday to help investigators document the scene and prepare a diagram, she said.

The mapping effort will take about three days and then investigators will spend another Friday to analyze its results, Snyder said.

Family members and friends of those who were killed in the fire are continuing to come to the scene to see where their loved ones spent their final moments.

Just before Snyder held her news conference, Oakland police and fire chaplain Jayson Landeza took several family members to the grizzly site.

They looked at the burned out warehouse intently and one woman in the group sobbed.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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