Memorial held for Coronado man killed in Oakland fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Memorial held for Coronado man killed in Oakland fire

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/ CNS) - Several hundred people attended a memorial gathering today for a 25-year-old man from Coronado who was among three dozen people killed in a Dec. 2 fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland.

The private service for Nick Gomez-Hall took place at his alma mater, Coronado High School.

Gomez Hall, who went on to attend Brown University in Rhode Island, was remembered as a talented musician and athlete, particularly as a sailor.

Gomez-Hall was one of the three-dozen people killed in the inferno that swept through a warehouse earlier this month.

Gomez-Hall grew up in Coronado and one of his friends said he was one amazing man who even at a young age was impressive to say the least.

"It was like no no no, anyone but him. He's the best person and the least deserving of this," said Maddie White.

White was a childhood friend and said he could do it all. He was athletic, smart, and a prodigy when it came to playing music.

"Nick was one of those people who was genuinely good at everything," continued White. "And made everything look so easy. But when you met him you wouldn't know it because he was so easy going and humble."

For friends of Gomez-Hall, white said one of the sad parts is he had so much to offer this world.

"I would say talent, brilliance, humility," said a friend.

Most of those killed in the blaze were at a party on the second floor of the building known as the Oakland Ghost Ship, which was used by artists who lived and worked together in the face of the Bay Area's runaway housing prices.

The families of two other victims have filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants, including the building owners, contending that structural dangers that led to the fatalities were known.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the lead investigative agency, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is looking into a possible electrical cause to the conflagration, which was the deadliest structure fire in California in 110 years.

People familiar with the building described a tangle of extension cords powering living and work areas, propane tanks used to heat an improvised shower and exposed electrical wires covering a back staircase, the newspaper reported.


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