County sets up disaster relief fund to assist those affected by deadly fire

Alameda County has activated its Disaster Relief Fund for the victims of the deadly warehouse fire in Oakland on Friday night.

Through the fund, anyone can contribute to those affected by the three-alarm fire that has left 36 people confirmed dead so far. The county’s 9,600 employees also have the option to donate up to five days of accrued vacation time, compensatory time or holiday in-lieu time, county officials said.

The county’s Disaster Relief Fund was established in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has been reactivated after other high-profile tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, and the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.

The fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse at 1305 31st Ave. happened during an electronic music show inside. Dozens of people were trapped as the building burned and the roof collapsed. In the following days, rescue crews have recovered 36 bodies.

“This tragedy hits us all especially hard because it occurred right here in our community,” Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Scott Haggerty said. “We feel the need to do something that allows our employees and the community to support the many people affected by this heartbreaking event.”

Donations to the fund can be made online at http://acgov.org/government/news/disaster.htm or by mail at the Auditor Controller Agency, 1221 Oak St., Room 238, Oakland, CA 94612. Checks should be made payable to the Alameda County Disaster Relief Fund.

Two online fundraisers set up over the weekend have already raised more than $750,000 as of this morning. One set up by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts had raised more than $417,000. It is available here.

The other, set up by the Oakland A’s, has raised more than $335,000 and is available here.

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