OAKLAND, Calif. (WHDH) — As of Wednesday morning, officials confirmed two of the 36 people killed in the Oakland warehouse fire had connections to New England.
Massachusetts natives Amanda Allen of Chelmsford, Pete Wadsworth of Cohasset and Micah Danemayer of Somerville were killed in the warehouse fire. Nick Gomez-Hall, a graduate of Brown University, is still missing. Reports say the fire may have been caused by a refrigerator.
Amanda Allen, of Chelmsford, was said to be photographing the DJ when the fire started.
Allen graduated from Bridgewater State and moved to San Francisco with her husband in 2008.
Friends described her as smart, funny, and someone who loved underground music.
Her family released this statement:
Our whole family is obviously devastated and shook up right now – this has all been very difficult for us to process…Amanda is an incredible, beautiful person, daughter, sister and friend…our hears and prayers go out to all of the other families dealing with this as well. We’re here with you.
Micah Danemayer grew up in Somerville, and was said to be projecting video images onto a screen during the party.
Danemayer’s family provided a statement on Tuesday:
Last Friday our son, Micah Danemayer, was among the dozens of young souls lost in the tragic Oakland warehouse fire, where he was performing with with other audio and visual artists. He was a funny creative kid and a funny creative adult. When he graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 2011 and immediately left for San Francisco we never thought we’d miss his room piled high with art assemblages, analog electronic gear, and VHS tapes, we never thought we’d miss having a vegan at our meat-eating table, we certainly never thought we’d miss his rubix cube tattoo. Of course we miss all of it. Micah found his niche in a community of artists who reveled in experimental visual and audio electronica. In the words of a friend, he was “a wonderful charming eccentric beauty of a young man,” whose open heart drew many many other free spirits to him. We were lucky to have him for 28 years. We will miss him, and the weirdness and creativity and love that trailed in his wake. Thank you to all who have shown your love and support during these trying times. A scholarship fund in his name is being set up at the Massachusetts College of Art to help others young artists find their voice.
Peter Wadsworth, a native of Cohasset, was also killed in the flames. He was reportedly living in the warehouse.
Nick Gomez-Hall, a musician and graduate from Brown University, is still missing.
Most of the building has been searched and authorities said they won’t stop until they have searched every inch.
“We know 36 families are watching, said Johnna Watson, Oakland Police spokesperson. “We know other families are watching, as well. And, also to our community, we’re not going to put an end time. We’re going to continue the search. We’re going to continue the investigation. We’re going to continue the process, until absolutely every piece of debris is removed from this building, every area has been searched.”
The warehouse was converted into an illegal living space for artists. The space had been under investigation after complaints.
Some are placing blame on the man who ran the artist enclave, Derick Ion Almena. He became very upset when asked about it in a contentious interview on “Today.”
“Am I the man who should be held accountable? Did I build something with the, with the, I mean what am I going to say to that? Should I be accountable? I can barely stand here right now,” said Almena.
“I would rather get on the floor and be trampled by the parents. I’d rather let them tear at my flesh than answer these ridiculous questions,” he added.
The fire is the deadliest in more than a decade.
Authorities have warned of possible murder charges if any crimes are linked to the fire.
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