Prayer vigils were held for victims of Oakland warehouse fire around the city, as churches remembered the victims and prayed for them and their families.

The fire at the converted warehouse which was packed with 50-100 youngsters dancing to electronic music claimed 36 lives.

"The fire was horrendous," said the Rev. Cameron Partridge, 43, a priest at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, "and we're realizing increasingly that there were a number of trans folks there that were part of our community."

"They were amazing and I'm sorry for everyone's loss," said Genevieve Griesau, whose four friends were still missing after the fire. "It's mind blowing, heart breaking."

The fire had broken out in the left corner of the building on the second floor, which gutted the two stories of Ghost Ship located at 1305 31st Ave. at International Boulevard, in Fruitvale neighborhood.

"Their pain in many ways is our pain too. The loss of these young people is the loss of all of us," said Father Martin Jose Ibarra of Saint Elizabeth Church a few blocks away from the warehouse.

Members of the community put flowers at a nearby fence to pay respects to the victims, and gathered at the Chapel of the Chimes which is a crematory and columbarium in Oakland, located at 4499 Piedmont Avenue.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team also sent chaplains to Oakland early Saturday morning to assess the best possible means by which they can help the community affected by the tragedy, and to comfort the mourning friends and relatives.

The fire department spent hours trying to put out the fire, which caused the roof of the building to collapse.

The search and rescue operation at the building was wrought with complications as they had to take care of the collapsing second-story roof which fell on the first floor.

"We had firefighters with basically coveralls and buckets and shovels taking bits of debris out into the vacant lot to be loaded into dump trucks and removed to an off-site location," said Oakland battalion Fire Chief Melinda Drayton.

The fire started at around 11:15 pm at night, and the fire department arrived 3 minutes later.

"This is a devastating loss to our community and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected," said Marcie Russell, general manager of the Chapel of the Chimes.