US House of Representatives observes moment of silence for fire victims

The U.S. House of Representatives observed a moment of silence today for the 36 people who died in a fire at a warehouse in Oakland’s Fruitvale district on Friday night.

Before the moment of silence, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said, “Last weekend, my home city of Oakland suffered a horrific tragedy. A devastating fire at an artists’ collective warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland killed 36 young, talented individuals.”

Lee said, “These were young men and women who had their whole future ahead of them. Their lives were tragically cut short. We want to extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the victims’ families and their loved ones during this anguishing time.”

Lee added, “We are in mourning for these young people. But know that Oakland residents are resilient, compassionate and caring. We will continue to support all our residents during this difficult time and with any recovery efforts.”

Lee visited the fire site on Tuesday night and participated in a news conference with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed and other local officials. Alameda County sheriff’s officials said earlier today that all 36 victims have now been identified and their families have been notified of the deaths.

A handful of the victims’ names have not been officially released by the county coroner’s bureau.

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