Well-known visual artist among Oakland fire victims

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(Photo Courtesy Devin Askounis/Mixtape via AP). This undated photo provided by Devin Askounis shows Ben Runnels and Nicole Renae Siegrist, also known as "Denalda," in Oakland, Calif. Both died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that started in Oakland on… (Chris Danemayer/MassArts via AP) via AP). This July 2016 photo provided by Chris Danemayer shows Micah Danemayer on his last visit to his home in Boston. Danemayer, 28, was an Oakland promoter dedicated to bringing people together and showcasing new p… (Jack Bohlka/CBC Photography via AP). This Sept. 2016 photo provided by Jack Bohlka shows his daughter, Em Bohlka, in San Francisco. Bohlka, 33, a poet with a master’s degree in literature, was one of over two dozen people who died in the disastrous Oa… (Nick Salazar via AP). This July 2016 photo provided by Nick Salazar shows David Cline. Cline, 24, was one of over two dozen people who died in the disastrous Oakland party warehouse fire that began Dec. 2, 2016. (Kristin Cofer via AP). This April 2016 photo provided by Kristin Cofer shows Cash Askew. Askew was one over two dozen people who died in the disastrous Oakland warehouse party fire that began Dec. 2, 2016.

By The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – A well-known visual projection artist who toured the globe was among the 36 people killed in a fire that engulfed a dance party inside an Oakland warehouse.

Federal officials investigating the blaze planned to bring in engineers to examine the building’s electrical system, as they tried to pinpoint the fire’s cause.

Officials were notifying families after identifying the victims.

Here’s a closer look at who the victims were:

INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN VISUAL PROJECTION ARTIST

Jonathan Bernbaum, 34, was a well-known visual projection artist whose dramatic light and video shows enhanced the performances of musicians in California and around the world.

He worked editing films before becoming disillusioned with the corporate film industry and discovered a way to apply his film skills to multi-media video art, according to an obituary posted online.

He toured the globe with groups like electronic house music duo Knife Party and VSquared Labmong others.

"At the time of his death, Jonathan was widely considered one of the world’s foremost artists working in his field," according to the obituary.

Born in Berkeley, Bernbaum graduated from Berkeley High School in 2000 and from Brandeis University in 2004, earning highest honors as a history major and minoring in film studies. He went on to earn his masters of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2008, focusing on film editing.

Loved ones remember his "love of social justice, his razor sharp mind, his debating skills and his creativity as a visual performer," the obituary said.

"If you’ve seen a Knife Party show in the last ¾ years, there’s a 99 percent chance you were watching Jon’s visuals and know how talented he was," Knife Party musician Rob Swire wrote on Twitter, saying he would miss his good friend.

‘PHILOSOPHER OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC’

Joey Matlock, 36, also known as Casio, was described by a fellow DJ as a "philosopher of electronic music."

His sets often came late at night and were heavy with recordings of nature and ambient sounds molded into a percussion-based "audio assault that was cathartic," DJ Nihar Bhatt said.

Matlock decentralized the individualism of rock music into more of a collective endeavor, he added.

"Anyone who heard it had their minds blown," he said.

John Matlock, the father of Joey Matlock, attended a gathering in Oakland where he quoted a few lines from one of his son’s songs called "Share the cup, spare the sword," that said to put others first.

Matlock told the crowd he and his wife were hurting but that they were one part of their son’s family and this community was another part of it.

"We loved Joey," he said, "and we love all of you."

Calvin Johnson of K Records in Olympia, Washington, said Matlock had been an artist with the label and lived in the city for 10 years before moving around.

"He really was the gentlest of people," he said.

Johnson said Matlock’s music could be "aggressive and so completely different from his personality."

WELCOMING HOST

Wolfgang Renner, 61, made friends feel celebrated, a friend said.

He is the oldest victim publicly identified.

Renner’s girlfriend, Michelle Colette Sylvan is missing.

"Wolfgang was about as free of an individual as anyone is likely to ever meet," their friend Robert Janca said in a statement to KRON-TV. "When we were close, it was a joy to go and visit him as he was a capable host who made all of his friends feel welcome and celebrated."

Janca called Sylvan "his lovely, wildly creative partner" and "a potent visionary."

"The world is a decidedly less colorful one without them," he said. "So long dear souls. Thank you for the treasures you shared. We will see you in Valhalla and in the interim we will celebrate your rich lives as you would undoubtedly have wanted us to."

THE MOST NORMAL WEIRD GUY

Jason McCarty, 35, grew up in Fort Madison, Iowa, a small town on the Mississippi River where everyone knew everyone. From an early age, he impressed friends and neighbors with his drawing skills.

"He was incredibly talented. You could tell what he was drawing came from the deep recesses of his mind," said Chris Escobar, 36, who rode bicycles around town with him as a child, adding they were close in high school and stayed in touch throughout his life.

McCarty, of Oakland, was well-liked.

"He can go from down-to-earth to extremely deep. It was like he was always really deep but would come to the surface when he needed to interact with others," said Escobar, who lives in Tyler, Texas. "The most normal weird guy you would ever meet. And you say weird in a loving way."

McCarty moved to California after studying in Maryland, according to people who knew him.

"He was the most inspiring person in the world," Escobar said.

A BUDDING STAR IN PSYCHOLOGY

Jennifer Mendiola, 35, was a psychology Ph.D. student who was gaining recognition in the field and had published research a year ago in a prestigious medical journal.

Mendiola was a doctoral student at the University of California, Merced, her sister-in-law Anna Mendiola told the Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/2h7O6Co).

"She died without suffering," Anna Mendiola said in a text message to the newspaper. "She was unconscious in 15 minutes and was not touched by the fire. The cause of death was smoke inhalation."

Mendiola graduated with a master’s degree in psychology from Sacramento State in 2010. She began working on her doctoral degree two years later and was studying how close social relationships influence risk behaviors and emotion under professors Anna Song and Matthew Zawadzki, according to the university’s website.

Last year, she co-authored a report for the Journal of Preventive Medicine about the willingness of immigrants from Mexico to get flu vaccines.

FUN-LOVING COMPUTER SCIENCE GRADUATE

David Cline, 24, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2015 with degrees in computer science and cognitive science, the university said.

His brother, Neil Cline, said in a statement from the family that David had gone to the warehouse party with his friend Griffin Madden, who also died.

Neil Cline called his brother a "ferociously brilliant student and impossibly bright mind."

"David was an incredible man, an amazing brother, a perfect son and an inspiring friend to everyone who was fortunate enough to have him in their lives," the statement said. "Everyone who ever met David knows that his smile and his presence changed every person that was lucky enough to feel his warmth and light."

Amanda Walker, who taught Cline how to play the clarinet until he was 18, recalled him as both fun-loving and serious.

"He was just really humorous," Walker told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2haDoxQ). "He really enjoyed himself."

COLLEGE ROOMMATES

Jennifer Morris, 21, and Vanessa Plotkin, 21, were college roommates who went to UC Berkeley.

Morris, of Foster City, was majoring in media studies, and Plotkin, of Lakewood, was studying sociology.

Both women volunteered at KALX-FM, the campus radio station, where another victim of the fire, Chelsea Dolan, was a volunteer DJ.

Neither were DJs yet – rather, they helped process the music sent to the station, getting it ready for the DJs to play, KALX general manager Sandra Wasson said.

"They were both, you know, really excited about working at the station, and obviously by going to the show, they exhibited that they were really into discovering new music, challenging music," Wasson said. "They were both very kind and very valued for their volunteer work."

Morris was driven by a deep sense of justice and passion for understanding the world around her, officials with UC Berkeley’s media department wrote in a prepared statement. Morris believed that "combatting stereotypes and correcting some of the negativity found in media representations could help create positive change," the school officials wrote.

Chloe Studebaker, a friend of Morris, told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2h6FLyJ) that Morris was quiet and a multitalented musician and artist with "the voice of an angel."

Morris painted, played piano, guitar and ukulele and was experimenting with photography, Studebaker said.

"She had an eye like no one else and caught amazing photographs," Studebaker told the newspaper.

FREE SPIRIT

Billy Dixon, 35, went out of his way to make people feel special, his family said in a statement.

Dixon, from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was remembered for his smile and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, a long-time family friend, called him a free spirit.

"He had a smile that would light up the room when he walked in. Everybody was always happy when Billy was there. He wasn’t real interested in rules. He was an artist," O’Neill told the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, WOIO-TV.

Dixon graduated in 2000 from Chagrin Falls High, and was living in Oakland.

In a statement, his family said Dixon had "a hug for everyone no matter how long he has known them and has an amazing gift of making people feel appreciated."

MUSIC-LOVING SHERIFF’S DEPUTY’S SON

Draven McGill, 17, was a member of Oakland’s Pacific Boychoir Academy whose tastes ranged from classical to hip-hop to electronic dance music.

The baritone singer had gone to the party with friends from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts where he was a junior. His father is Alameda County sheriff’s Deputy Phil McGill.

"We were like, ‘You gotta be kidding.’ This hit us, too," sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2gQhEXh). "It’s hit every cross-section of society here in the Bay Area and all over the world."

McGill’s friend Faelan Westhead said the two were sitting on a couch on the warehouse’s second floor when they noticed what appeared to be mist created by a fog machine. They soon realized it was smoke from a fire and tried to flee.

McGill remained calm as panic rose among the crowd, Westhead said, but they got separated when then the lights went out.

"It’s rough," said Gabriel Bibliowicz, a baritone singer in the vocal program and the school’s student body president. "Every memory we have of him is so much bigger now."

Friends said McGill was fun and always up for a new adventure.

"He was a sweet, loving young man taken from this earth too early," said his great-aunt, Merlena Moore.

A REVOLUTIONARY

Johnny Igaz, 34, was a DJ committed to social justice, friends said.

Igaz reportedly was playing a set when the fire broke.

Demitria Ruiz-Sauliere, who knew Igaz from the close-knit house and techno music scene, said his "unique warmth and charisma" earned him friends and fans. She described him as a punk rocker and said he grew up in the Bay area.

A lover of synthesizers and electronic music, Igaz offered free tutoring sessions to younger musicians to help jumpstart their careers, Ruiz-Sauliere said.

He was a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and pushed for social equality.

"He was a revolutionary," she said. "If there’s any person who could be the root for any kind of widespread grassroots movement, it was Johnny."

He was listed on Facebook as a record buyer at Green Apple Books and Music in San Francisco.

VOCALIST CONSIDERED A TRUE POET

Brandon Chase Wittenauer, 32, had become a fixture at music and art events in the Oakland area.

His music alias was Nex Iuguolo and he was the vocalist for Symbiotix. Fungi, a duo that he formed with a close friend and longtime collaborator, CJ Chapman.

Raised largely in Santa Maria, California, on the state’s central coast, Wittenauer lived for a while in Nicaragua, where he has relatives.

Amanda Fish, a friend for 15 years, called him "a true poet" whose music revealed an introverted side.

"Chase was hyper intelligent with an unmatched level of awareness, constantly exploring and learning. He could talk to anyone about anything. There were no awkward pauses in a conversation with Chase. He put you at ease," Fish wrote in a statement.

Wittenauer offered humorous comments and encouraging words to acquaintances on social media, Fish said.

"He was so happy and had found his place in this world!" Fish said.

VIBRANT AND MAGNETIC

Amanda Kershaw, 34, was vibrant, awesome and magnetic, her husband Andy Kershaw told The Associated Press.

The Chelmsford, Massachusetts native graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2004. She and her husband moved to San Francisco from Boston in 2008, according to The Lowell Sun (http://bit.ly/2gISHNd).

Friend Shannon Fisher said Kershaw took ballet as a child and later embraced "that underground musical life." Fisher described Kershaw as smart and funny, with a laugh that came easily.

The victim’s Facebook page said she worked as a portrait and event photographer.

Fisher told the newspaper Kershaw also worked for nonprofit agencies and had recently been working for a conservation trust in San Francisco’s Bay Area.

AN OLD SOUL AND KINDHEARTED GIRL

Alex Vega, 22, went to the party with his longtime girlfriend, Michela Gregory, 20, who also died in the fire.

Vega had jobs as a valet and also worked with Gregory at a mortuary, his brother, Daniel Vega, said. But his hobbies and interests were boundless. He had dreams of being a painter, a photographer, a fashion designer, a mechanic.

"The kid could have done whatever he wanted," Daniel Vega said.

Alex was the youngest of four brothers, and Daniel, the oldest, was 14 years his senior. But despite the age difference, the two shared a passion for cars, urban art and electronic music.

"If anything we were like best friends," the eldest brother said. "Alex was an old soul. I think that’s why we got along so well."

Gregory was studying child development at San Francisco State University and was committed to her studies, said education lecturer Rama Kased, who leads the Metro College Success Program.

"I would see her all the time pushing her classmates, getting her classmates to finish the work," Kased told The Associated Press. "She was quiet, but when she spoke, the class would listen because they knew she would have something important to say."

Her friend Lili Reyes said she had been texting her before the event.

"She was a kindhearted girl with so much life," Reyes said. "Everyone she met, she has made such an impact on them."

A POET WHO WAS LOVED

Em Bohlka, 33, was a poet with a master’s degree in literature.

Jack Bohlka told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2g4M0RP) that his daughter worked as a barista and was "just a completely loving individual, truly a gentle spirit, thoughtful and philosophical."

Bohlka and his daughter used to quote Kurt Vonnegut to each other in text messages.

One of the lines they loved was: "Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center."

A PASSION FOR NAIL ART

Jennifer Kiyomi Tanouye, 31, of Oakland, reportedly had a nail art booth on the second floor of the warehouse space where the fire broke out.

"She had an infectious personality that was always on, always positive," said Charles Slomovitz, her boss at Shazam, a music app company where Tanouye was a music manager. "It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what your interests are, you feel welcomed by Kiyomi."

One of her hobbies was an underground nail art booth that she would set up at live music events, Slomovitz said.

Tanouye also helped organize music festivals and managed the social media accounts of a magazine store.

"So much energy, so wide-eyed and full of life," said Noella Teele, a friend and the co-owner of the magazine store Issues.

Her friend Shayne Keator said Tanouye was quirky and funny. She named her Pomeranian after a fake art museum he once told her about.

DJ WITH A PUNK ROCK SENSIBILITY

Edmond Lapine, 34, was born in Ogden, Utah, and later went to a college in Colorado before ultimately going on to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied French, as well as Russian literature.

His father, Bob Lapine said his son "was more on the artsy side," a musician and music lover who wanted to have a career as a DJ.

"I just want the world to know that he was a very decent human being," Bob Lapine said.

He and his ex-wife, Edmond’s mother, will split the cremated remains of their son, he said. "I try to be strong, but I break down every once in a while," Bob Lapine said.

Childhood friend Jesse Nolan said Lapine had some gigs as a DJ. The two were in a band together when they were in middle school, and they were influenced by grunge rock. They kept in touch, most recently through Facebook and texts.

"Even though he was more into electronic music toward the end of his life, he had kind of a punk rock sensibility," Nolan said. "He rejected everything that was corporate and fake."

FEMALE DJ BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

Chelsea Faith Dolan, 33, was a brilliant San Francisco DJ and producer who was beginning to get the recognition she deserved in a genre of music typically dominated by men, fellow DJ Nihar Bhatt said.

Dolan encountered overwhelming sexism and was working to get more women involved in electronic dance music, mentoring people and starting a musicians’ learning group, Bhatt said. She generously shared feedback and reinforcement with fellow performers.

"She really was willing to give much more than she received," said Bhatt, who was outside the warehouse talking with a friend when the fire erupted.

UNDERGROUND MUSIC PROMOTER

Micah Danemayer, 28, was an Oakland promoter dedicated to bringing people together and showcasing new performers, DJ Nihar Bhatt said.

Danemayer worked for an ongoing experimental music series called ‘Trance Mutations,’ under the company name of Obscura Machina.

Danemayer persuaded Bhatt to do his first live solo show. He often projected films on a wall during other artists’ sets, and was doing so the night of the fire.

"He was so passionate for the underground, for people to have a chance," Bhatt said.

Danemayer was a 2011 graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he studied at the Studio for Interrelated Media, a self-directed program encompassing sound, installation, performance, conceptual art, and live event production.

Nita Sturiale, chair of the program, said Danemayer "was like a perpetual wide-eyed child, and always willing to try new things," and "was goofy and edgy."

His father, Chris Danemayer, in a statement issued through the college, said his son moved to Oakland a year after he graduated.

"He just exploded there, doing exactly what he wanted to do," his father said.

The family established a scholarship fund at the college.

HER TRUE SELF

Feral Pines, 29, a transgender musician and artist from Connecticut, recently moved to the San Francisco area to be with friends, according to her brother, Ben Fritz.

"She was a kind and beautiful person who had the strength to be her true self even when she knew that was not an easy path," Ben Fritz, 39, told The Associated Press. He said she appeared to be the "happiest she had been in a few years."

Their father, Bruce Fritz, told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2ghCNc2) that his daughter loved animals and played bass guitar.

Pines graduated from Staples High School in Westport in 2005 and the School for the Visual Arts in Manhattan in 2010. She lived in several places before moving to the Bay Area, according to her family.

FOUND THEIR PLACE THROUGH MUSIC

Ben Runnels, 32, and Nicole Renae Siegrist, 29, known as "Denalda," formed the synthpop group Introflirt.

They named their last album "Temporary Heaven" to describe the fleeting nature of life and the moments of happiness when people feel completely comfortable with who they are, no matter how different from others they may be, said Brendan Dreaper, who helps operate Mixtape, the Oakland-based company that managed Introflirt.

That’s also the message the two friends would want the world to remember about their music, Dreaper said. They dubbed their sound "croonwave" and made it their mission to create a "soundtrack for the insecure," according to Mixtape.

"You may feel like an outsider, but that’s your advantage in life," Dreaper said. "They were completely comfortable with being themselves."

Runnels, an introvert who played guitar and sang, connected to people through his music, Dreaper said.

Siegrist, an outgoing "free spirit" who played the synthesizer, used herself as a canvas, painting black streaks or bold marks on her face to contrast with outfits like a veil, halo of flowers and white dress, he said.

Runnels was from the East Coast, and Siegrist grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The two went to the show with friends, including musician Travis Hough, who also died in the fire and worked with Mixtape.

Siegrist’s cousin, Rhonda Ford, described her as someone who could talk to anybody and lived life to the fullest.

THE HEART OF OAKLAND

Ara Jo, 29, was a vibrant artist and community organizer who could make friends with anyone, friends said.

Jo grew up in Los Angeles and was living in Oakland. Her parents flew in from South Korea after being notified of her death.

"She’s a typical artist. She’s got more causes than she has energy, even though she has a lot of energy," said her boyfriend, Terry Ewing.

Ewing said one of her latest causes was to raise money and awareness for American Indians and others protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline Project in North Dakota.

Friends mourning Jo on social media called her the heart of Oakland.

FATHER OF TWINS

Alex Ghassan, 35, was the father of twin toddlers. He was a director and producer who worked with Spike Lee and Talib Kweli.

His fiancee, Hanna Henrikka Ruax, 32, was a yoga instructor, entrepreneur and activist from Helsinki, Finland. She arrived in Oakland in late November.

Ghassan was preparing to move to Europe, said his roommate Vikram Babu.

"He was fed up with the U.S.," Babu said.

Ghassan previously resided in Orange, New Jersey. He lived in Oakland for about a year, Babu said.

Ghassan’s mother, Emilie Grandchamps, told WABC-TV (https://goo.gl/HFH3eN), that Ghassan often went out of his way to help other artists.

Before the fire, Ghassan posted video of the warehouse party on Instagram. "Oakland reminds me of #JerseyCity so much at times," he wrote.

Ruax, a social justice activist, organized a large protest in Finland after a neo-Nazi rally there, Babu said.

Ruax’s Instagram account is filled with playful photos of her and Ghassan. Last week, she posted a selfie with Ghassan where both made funny faces into the camera.

"Sent this pic to my mumz after arriving home to my boo," she wrote. "Home sweet home!"

PASSIONATE MUSIC THERAPIST

Travis Hough, 35, believed music healed people, including himself.

Hough was an experimental electronic artist behind Ghost of Lightning, a project in which he created music to explore and understand his own psyche, said Michelle Campbell, founder of Mixtape, an artist management company based in Oakland.

Hough worked by day as a therapist in schools in the Bay area, using music to help children cope with trauma, Campbell said.

"Really his passion was his work in helping find ways to use music as a means of healing," Campbell said.

Hough played bass and keyboard and was a performance artist who was inspired by Prince and other male performers "who wear ruffles, glitter and makeup," she said. His shows included orbs of rhythmically pulsating light.

He enjoyed a good meal with family and friends and hiking through northern California’s Redwood forests.

"He was definitely a radiant light," Campbell said.

EXTRAORDINARY CO-WORKER

Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, made a warm impression on friends and colleagues in California and Rhode Island as a musician, mentor and community advocate who most recently worked for an independent publisher.

Berkeley, California-based publisher Counterpoint Press said in a statement that it was devastated by the loss of an "extraordinary co-worker and a true friend."

"Whether he was recommending new music to listen to (and it was always so good), regaling us with tales of the bowling alley, offering his beloved truck for a ride if anyone needed it or sharing his much-appreciated opinions about a jacket or manuscript, he made everyone feel like they were his friend," the company wrote in a social media post. "He was kind, considerate, hilarious."

Gomez-Hall was a 2013 graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he concentrated in American Studies. The university on Monday said he "played an integral role" in the school’s Swearer Center for Public Service. He volunteered to teach at an elementary school while an undergraduate and later helped run an after-school program.

He also became well-known playing guitar and singing in the two-man band Nightmom in Providence.

Gomez-Hall recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He was originally from Southern California and graduated from Coronado High School.

‘TOTAL GOOFBALL’

Cash Askew, 22, was an Oakland musician who was kind, gentle and a "total goofball," said her girlfriend, Anya Taylor.

The couple met about a year ago at a concert and connected through their love of music, Taylor told the Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2gZc0Qu).

Cash was one of two members of the band Them Are Us Too. She had been performing with bandmate Kennedy Ashlyn since 2013. Both studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ashlyn said Askew recently started becoming "her best self" after Askew came out as transgender about two years ago.

Them Are Us Too released its first album last year and the duo planned to tour South America at the end of January and had hoped to finish writing a new album within the coming year, Ashlyn said.

Leisa Baird Askew said her daughter grew up in a musical and artistic family. Cash’s stepfather, Sunny Haire, is a transgender man and guitarist, according to the newspaper.

TEACHER, GARDENER

Sara Hoda, 30, of Walnut Creek, was a "sweet person" who gardened and taught at a Montessori school, a friend said.

Hoda and Crewdson started a collective six years ago where artists and creatives could stay, avoiding the San Francisco Bay Area’s high rent, Crewdson told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2g3oOTH).

They lost touch after the collective shut down. But Crewdson said while it was operating, Hoda was very active in the collective process.

UNIQUE SENSE OF STYLE

Donna Kellogg, 32, of Oakland, was described as energetic and intelligent by friends and co-workers.

Josh Howes, an ex-boyfriend, said Kellogg wanted to be a healer, the East Bay Times reported (http://bit.ly/2h0AbAl). He said she was studying nutrition.

Kellogg worked at Highwire Coffee Roasters, where founder Robert Myers said she had just cut her hair and was on the brink of changes. He said all her co-workers enjoyed connecting with her through their shared interests in coffee and her quirky sense of style.

"I loved that she had a belt with her name on it and would wear it to work," Myer said.

RISING DJ IN SAN FRANCISCO SCENE

Griffin Madden, 23, was a DJ who had been increasingly becoming an important promoter in San Francisco, DJ Nihar Bhatt said.

"He took a lot of inspiration from the people around him," Bhatt said. "He wanted to bring in the next generation of things."

Madden graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2015 with degrees in philosophy and Slavic language and literature, according to the university.

Madden worked as an usher at Cal Performances and recently became an audience services associate.

Matias Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances’ executive and artistic director, recalled him as warm and genuine with a strong work ethic.

"We quickly got to notice him as an exceptional one," Tarnopolsky said. "He had this incredible infectiously sunny personality and this sense of leadership and ownership that’s rare. It was palpable in your work with him day to day."

Some friends and family members were still awaiting word of their missing loved ones.

LIKE A BROTHER

Peter Wadsworth was reported to be missing.

His friend Tammy Tasoff said Wadsworth looked out for her, doing little things that made her life easier. He would organize her messy files, give her advice and fix her computer if she needed help, said Tasoff, a dental student.

He bought video games because he knew she loved them, and he would often watch her play, she said.

"Usually he’d say, ‘Let’s play video games,’ and then he’d say, ‘No, I just want to watch you play,’" she said, sobbing. "He’d make me food. He took really good care of me. He was like my big brother."

ATTORNEY WITH A DESIRE TO HELP

Nick Walrath, 31, of Oakland texted his girlfriend, Alexis Abrams-Bourke, from inside the burning structure, saying there was a fire and that he loved her.

Abrams-Bourke said Walrath was reported missing. She spoke between sobs as she described him as a wonderful person who was open and vulnerable and goofy and generous.

"I feel like my future has been ripped from me," she said.

The two moved together from New York City several years ago after Walrath got a job as a clerk for the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He spent a year working as a judicial law clerk for the federal district court in San Francisco, and recently was hired as an attorney with the San Francisco law firm Durie Tangri.

But his ultimate goal was to work for the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Abrams-Bourke.

Helping people is what drove him.

"He could really step outside of himself and care and listen to other people and feel their struggles, and want to help," Abrams-Bourke said.

District Judge Jon Tigar said in a statement that Walrath was an "exceptional" law clerk in his chambers.

POPULAR SOUND ENGINEER

Friends of Barrett Clark, 35, say the popular sound engineer at the San Francisco club The Bottom of the Hill appeared to be everywhere.

Parker T. Gibbs, chief operating officer at Magnolia Media Productions, said when he’d walk into a rave full of strangers, he’d always spot Clark. "I knew where I’d be for the rest of the night," Gibbs said. "Right next to him."

Clark was reported to be missing.

Friends say the Santa Rosa native was a sound engineer and DJ who was a "standup guy" and appeared always ready to help musicians and fellow DJs.

Lynn Schwarz, co-owner of The Bottom of the Hill, said Clark was the engineer she hired to impress popular bands.

"You couldn’t shock the guy," Schwarz said. "He had all kinds of friends."

This story corrects that the last name of one person who is missing is Cline, not Clines.

Associated Press writers Julie Watson and Elliot Spagat in San Diego, Janie Har and Brian Melley in San Francisco, Janie Har in Oakland, Sadie Gurman in Denver, Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho, Russell Contreras in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Matt O’Brien in Providence, Rhode Island, and Rachel D’Oro in Anchorage, Alaska, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.