OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Late Dec 8, the coroner’s office has confirmed that 21-year old Filipina-American, Vanessa Quintos Plotkin, is among those who died in a warehouse fire last Friday.
Plotkin was first reported missing following the Ghost Ship warehouse fire – her family and friends had been posting on social media for days – in a desperate effort to find her.
According to a report from CBS LA, the family said they last heard from Plotkin around 11:00pm Friday night.
Plotkin’s roommate has confirmed that she attended the party at the warehouse, known as the “Ghost Ship” — a labyrinth-like artists’ cooperative, consisting of makeshift studios and apartments built in hazardous conditions.
Balitang America spoke to her aunt – who confirmed that Plotkin is of Filipino descent. Her family has declined to issue any statement for now.
The UC Berkeley third year sociology student, who grew up in Lakewood, CA, was attending an unauthorized electronic concert at the warehouse with her roommate and 20-year-old student Jennifer Morris, who was also among the confirmed dead.
Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil at Oakland’s Lake Merritt on Monday night for the 36 known victims, and to show support for those who were severely injured or reported still missing.
As the city mourns this tragic incident, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley vowed to prosecute those responsible, which she says ranges from murder all the way to involuntary manslaughter.
“I want to express our deepest condolences to those family members who lost loved ones in this fire, and to offer support to not only their families and their friends, but to those individuals who experienced the horrors of this fire and survived,” O’Malley said. “We’re looking at two things: one is, whether or not there is any criminal liability attached to this fire; and secondly, if there is criminal liability, against whom?”
The regretful manager of the Ghost Ship warehouse building, Derek Alamena, has since apologized for the tragedy.
“I’m incredibly sorry,” Almena, whose goal was to make Ghost Ship a place for artists to dream and create, told NBC’s Today. “Everything that I did was to make this a stronger and more beautiful community and to bring people together.”
Authorities say searchers have finished combing the warehouse for victims, making the tragedy the deadliest fire in Oakland’s history.