Voices screamed out, "Fire!" Suddenly, the lights went out and it got harder to breathe.
Many of the 36 people killed in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland huddled together in the dark, and that's where they died of smoke inhalation.
Some of the young partygoers were found wrapped together in rugs.
More than six months after the Dec. 2 blaze at the warehouse that authorities said was illegally converted into living quarters, the Oakland Fire Department has released a 50-page report filled with harrowing details of death and panic as the flames and deadly smoke spread.
The report contains previously unknown details about the deadliest structure fire in the nation in more than 14 years and says investigators could not determine the cause due to the extensive damage.
The report is the first official account of what survivors and witnesses told investigators, and how some 52 firefighters battled the blaze at the warehouse, an artist colony that was hosting an electronic music party that night.
The report also gives a vivid description of the warehouse's interior — a maze-like labyrinth with makeshift hallways constructed not of walls but of "pianos, organs, windows, wood benches, lumber" and stacks of other scavenged items that blocked possible exits and fueled the blaze.
The warehouse had no sprinklers and an ad hoc electrical system of power strips and extension cords that drew "electricity from the body shop next door," Max Harris, the self-described "creative director" and second-in-command of the Ghost Ship, told investigators.
Harris, 27, and Derick Almena, 47, who leased the warehouse from the owner, were charged this month with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors say the men knowingly created a fire trap in a building not licensed for housing or entertainment.
Lawyers for the men say they are scapegoats and that the building's owner Chor Ng, who denies knowledge that people lived in the warehouse, should face criminal charges. Harris and Almena have not yet entered pleas to the charges.
One victim was found just 10 feet from the front door, buried under debris, the report said.
Seven bodies were found clustered near a couch upstairs, the report said.
Eight others were found together wrapped in a rug on the first floor. But "it was determined that all eight victims had fallen from the second floor," much of which collapsed in the inferno.