Such stories of survival and loss have started to emerge following Friday's tragedy.
The fire was sparked late Friday during a party at the warehouse, which was used as an art collective. It's unclear how it started.
Investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are helping with the probe of a warehouse blaze in Oakland that killed 36 people. The warehouse had been rented for a dance party.
Some of the victims of the Oakland fire that consumed a residential warehouse Tuesday managed to send text messages to their loved ones before they died.
The Alameda County District Attorney and arson inspectors have begun an investigation.
The spokesman said the crews found the remains of people "protecting each other, holding each other".
Several people in the crowd have signs offering "free hugs". Numerous victims were artists or musicians and were part of a tight-knit community. "We didn't have enough money to do the things that needed to be done there and there was no one helping us", she tearfully explained.
The search for survivors was suspended on Sunday night as the warehouse seemed to be unstable, and was resumed at 9:00 a.m. (1700 GMT) on Monday, Oakland Police Department spokeswoman Johnna Watson told a press briefing shortly before noon. The death toll is at 36.
Officials said they would turn next to investigating the fire.
Oakland police responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, the department said, but it is unclear what they concerned or how many were made.
Authorities have identified 11 of the bodies but withheld some of the names.
Extensive damage to the building, which had been operating as an artists' colony, has made the search hard. Ray Kelly. Ten more victims were identified overnight. Relatives of Travis Hough, including cousin Jessica McDonald, second form right, and her partner Gero Zimmermann, at left, hold candles during a vigil in memory of victims of a warehouse fire at Lake Merritt on Monday.
A Brooklyn filmmaker who resettled in California was just starting to find his way when he perished at a party in a devastating Oakland warehouse fire, a friend said.
The debris removal process is about 75 percent complete, Oakland Deputy Fire Chief Darin White said.
Fire officials said 36 bodies had been recovered, and authorities don't expect that number to rise, although they couldn't rule out the possibility. Three of those victims were not American, Ahern said, but came from Finland, Korea and Guatemala.
Sheriff's officials said they don't think additional bodies will be found.
City and state officials fielded years of complaints about risky conditions, drugs, neglected children, trash, thefts and squabbles at the illegally converted warehouse in Oakland, California, where 36. Authorities had gone through about three-quarters of the building by Monday afternoon.