New York, – At least nine people died and 25 were missing after a fire broke out during a party at a warehouse in the US state of California, the local fire chief told dpa on Saturday.

Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said that investigators were looking for the cause of the fire, which was reported shortly before midnight on Friday at the two-storey building in Oakland, California.

The building housed artists and their studios as part of a collective, according to the local newspaper East Bay Times.

Rescue workers were looking for 25 people who had been unaccounted for, Reed said, however, it was unclear how many of the missing persons had been in the building when the flames broke out.

According to local media reports, between 50 to 100 people were gathered at the warehouse for a party.

Authorities feared that the death toll could reach up to 40, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told local news station KTVU.

More than 70 firefighters had been dispatched to the scene, Reed said, noting that it seemed that the warehouse had had no fire sprinkler system and smoke detectors had not been activated either.

According to a Facebook page, the event on Friday was an electric music party. On Saturday, many people expressed sympathy for the victims on the social network.

Source: Qatar News Agency