Second NJ man added to official list of Oakland warehouse fire victims
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA — The name of a former Morristown resident has been added to the list of those who died in a California warehouse fire.
Griffin Madden, a former Morristown resident and 2015 graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, was added to the official list of victims by the Alameda County Sheriff's Department late on Tuesday. Thirty-six bodies have been removed from the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship in Oakland, California, with 26 victims identified and families notified. Another nine have been tentatively identified. Officials are still lacking any type of identity for one individual.
Madden was a DJ in the Bay Area who fellow DJ Nihar Bhatt said was working on becoming a promoter.
"He took a lot of inspiration from the people around him. He wanted to bring in the next generation of things," Bhatt said.
His godfather, George Hopkins, told New Jersey 101.5 earlier that only Madden's brother remained in New Jersey. His mother lives in Wisconsin and the entire family has been in Oakland awaiting word on Madden, according to Hopkins.
A GoFundMe page has been created to support the Madden family with some of the unanticipated expenses Madden's death has brought.
"It's hard to use this space to begin to describe how much Griffin means to all of us and how profoundly we feel lost without him. I am just going to hope anyone who reads this knows and understands what an unimaginable hole there will now be in all our lives," wrote MJ Bernier, the page's creator.
Alex Ghassan,35, a filmmaker originally from Jersey City, was confirmed as a victim on Monday. His fiance, Hanna Henrikka Ruax, was also added to the victims list on Tuesday.
Ghassan's roommate, Vikram Babu, said that the couple was preparing to move to Europe because he was "fed up with the U.S."
Emilie Grandchamps, Ghassan's mother, told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that her main concern is what happens to his twin 4-year-old daughters, Alex and Lucy.
"I don't have time to cry right now. The only thing I can do is really make sure my granddaughters will be OK. If daddy wasn't home, daddy was on Facetime. If I was having a nightmare, 'Call daddy.' Now what do you tell them?" she told the station.
"He was family man and loved spending quality and creative time with his daughters. His love and adoration for his mother was so warm and humbling," Lioness D'Radiant wrote about Ghassan on the GoFundMe page.
The Alameda County district attorney's office sent a team to search for evidence of a crime in the warehouse, which was already under investigation by the city for possible code violations. The space had a permit to operate as a warehouse only. Neighbors had complained of people living there illegally, trash piling up and other unsafe conditions.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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