The Oakland Fire at Ghost Ship was a tremendous tragedy taking at least 33 young lives. The blaze came suddenly after one of the aging warehouse’s frequent power outages. The smoke, confusion, and darkness all contributed to the number of dead.
Oakland’s Ghost Ship was not just a party spot, although the building frequently hosted small underground concerts and dances. Ghost Ship was also studio space for young artists with hopes and dreams despite their current poverty. At least 25 artists were living in their studio space according to the New York Times.
Oakland’s Ghost Ship was the apparent home of The Satya Yuga Collective, according to the Washington Post. Jewelers, metalworkers, dancers, musicians and other artists made their home in this deteriorating warehouse turned artistic haven.
The Oakland Fire at Ghost Ship took at least 33 lives, only seven of which have been identified.
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Sara Hoda, age 30, perished in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Ms. Hoda was likely sympathetic to the Ghost Ship cause since she too had founded an artist’s collective to house traveling and native Californian artists. Sarah was a teacher at a Montessori school. Her friend, Carol Crewdson, told the Los Angeles Times that Sarah Hoda was “really sweet.”
“She was a really sweet person. She gardened and taught children how to garden. She was always an active participant. She was unique.”
The Oakland fire at Ghost Ship claimed the life of Travis Hough, a 35-year-old musician, glass artist, and creative arts therapist. Travis was a member of the band Ghosts of Lightning. Hough’s manager, Brendan Draper, told the Los Angeles Times that Hough was always a joy to be around.
“He was a super fun person to be around. I never had a bad day being around him. Travis had his heart open to everything. He just was like a bright light for everyone that he ever met.”
The Oakland Fire at Ghost Ship took the life of 22-year-old Cash Askew. Askew was a DJ and also a guitarist for the band Them Are Us Too. Cash’s friend of 12 years and fellow musician Madigan Shive told the Los Angeles Times that Cash Askew was a rising star with a whole lot of promise as a musician.
“Everybody just saw this star, just saw this shooting star in her,”
Donna Kellogg, age 32, died on the second floor of the Ghost Ship in Oakland. Donna’s sister, Ginger, reached out on Facebook requesting prayer for the family. Friends and family gathered on social media to grieve their loss. Josh Howes, who went to the scene of the fire, said he had dated Ms. Kellogg for over four years. He told Mercury News Donna was “awesome”.
“[Donna was] super awesome, fiery, intelligent, redhead who wanted to be a healer.”
The Oakland Fire at Ghost Ship also claimed the lives of 35-year-old David Clines, a UC Berkley student, 25-year-old Nick Gomez-Hall, and 32-year-old Brandon Chase Wittenauer.
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The Oakland Fire at Ghost Ship has friends and family of many young artists and musicians fearing the worst. Among the missing is Chelsea Faith Dolan, a Bay Area dance musician who uses the name Cherushii. Chelsea was scheduled to perform at the Ghost House party.
The Oakland Fire may have also claimed the life of Ben Runnels, who is thought to have attended the Ghost Ship Party. Ben Runnels, better known as Charlie Prowler of Introflirt, was a jazz crooner who combined vintage jazz with electronic music.
Also among the missing Oakland Ghost Ship attendees is Ara Christina Jo, a highly creative and artistic young woman. Ara is active in the arts community and co-organizes the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest. She is also the co-director at Sgraffito.
Oakland’s Ghost Ship party might also have attracted Barrett Clark, a sound engineer who is often at underground parties in all sorts of locations. He remains missing and may have been providing his services at the party. He may have brought Hanna Henrikka Ruax to the party as well. Hanna is from Finland.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Not all the Oakland Ghost Ship party goers were artists, though. Promising young attorney Nicolas Walrath has been missing since the Ghost Ship party on Friday night. Three UC Berkeley students, Griffin Madden, Jenny Morris, and Vannessa Plotkin are also missing and feared to have been lost to the fire, along with Amanda Allen age 34, and Johnny Igaz also 34-years-old.
The Oakland fire at Ghost Ship has devastated the underground artistic community. It is still unknown how many talented artists and musicians have been lost.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]