Alex Ghassan, a 35-year-old father of twins, felt fortunate enough to be seeing a show inside a warehouse in Oakland, California on December 2. He even took video of the location, mentioning that it reminded him of back home. However, his night would end in tragedy when the warehouse caught on fire.
Ghassan was one of the 35 victims of the Oakland warehouse fire and was identified on Monday. He was a filmmaker and originally from New Jersey, but had recently moved to California to be closer to his 4-year-old daughters, Alex and Lucy.
“He was saying how much the place reminded him of New Jersey,” his close friend, Michael Richardson said. “That’s where he’s from. We’ve been to so many places like that warehouse and we never think it’ll be our last time.”
As a supporter of the arts, there was no question as to why Ghassan had found himself at that warehouse that night. It was an artist’s studio and it was hosting a concert on the second floor. Ghassan was attending the concert with his girlfriend – and possible future wife, according to Richardson – Hanna Henrikka Ruax.
Ruax is still missing, in that she hasn’t officially been identified as one of the deceased. Hopefully, she will be found soon. She is originally from Finnland and had come to the states to visit Ghassan. The two had planned a night of fun where they could go and support local artists.
“[Ghassan’s death is] a monumental loss of the artistic community in New York City and Oakland,” Richardson said.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ghassan’s family during this difficult time, and to all of those who have been affected by this tragedy.
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