Update, Monday, Dec. 5, 8:55 a.m. A talented visual artist from Berkeley who made a name for himself in the international electronic music scene is reportedly among those killed Friday night in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland. Friends and former classmates have planned a “candlelight and laser vigil” Monday night for 34-year-old Jonathan Bernbaum at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He graduated from the program in 2008.
The confirmed death toll has risen to 36, and authorities have suspended recovery efforts until Monday afternoon due to unsafe conditions. Read more.
Update, 6:15 p.m. The city of Oakland has released the first seven names of those killed during the Ghost Ship warehouse fire Friday night. They are Oakland residents Cash Askew, 22, David Cline, 35, Travis Hough, 35, and Donna Kellogg, 32; Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, of Hayward; Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, of Coronado; and Sara Hoda, 30, of Walnut Creek.
Cline and Gomez-Hall had Berkeley ties and further information about them appears below.
Kellogg worked at Berkeley’s Highwire Coffee Roasters and was well-known to many in the community. She was a barista at Highwire’s coffee trailer at Solano Avenue’s Flowerland nursery. Said one community member, “She made a lot of people their coffee and will be deeply missed by customers, coworkers and friends.”
There have been reports that the fire broke out near a wooden stairway made of pallets that was the only link between the first and second floors of the artist collective, which has been described as a rabbit warren and, ultimately, a tinderbox due to its cramped collection of wooden furniture, sculpture and other materials. The main party area, where musicians were performing and people were dancing, was on the second floor.
One friend, writing Sunday about Kellogg on Facebook, said, “Donna was on the second floor. She was a beautiful giggly, wise, person who will be very missed.”
Highwire has asked for privacy during “the very difficult process of absorbing the horror of what has happened” and being able to grieve.
According to the city, one of the victims is a 17-year-old whose name will not be released because he or she was a minor.
Original story, 3:58 p.m. Two friends from UC Berkeley, two UC Berkeley alumni and one staff member from a West Berkeley publishing house are among the dozens reported dead or missing after the three-alarm fire that tore through an Oakland warehouse during a party at an artist collective late Friday night. … Continue reading »