NJ filmmaker confirmed dead in Oakland warehouse fire
OAKLAND, Calif. — A filmmaker from Jersey City has officially been added to the list of victims of the California "Ghost Ship" warehouse fire that's claimed dozens of life.
Alex Ghassan, 35, formerly of Jersey City, has been positively identified as a victim of the Oakland warehouse fire. The number of dead climbed to 36.
Ghassan was a director and producer who worked with Spike Lee and Talib Kweli, and was the father of twin toddlers. He was engaged to Hanna Henrikka Ruax, who called Ghassan "the love of her life" on a picture of the couple posted to her Instagram. Ruax was also at the warehouse, where a party had been taking place, but is still listed as "missing."
San Francisco public TV station KQED on its Facebook page called Ghassan "an incredibly talented filmmaker, a passionate supporter of the arts, and, working with our team, had an unrelenting interest in other people's stories. It breaks our heart that his has come to an end."
Ghassan posted a video on his Instagram earlier in the evening from the warehouse and wrote "Oakland reminds me of #JerseyCity so much at times."
Ghassan's aunt, Junie Moscova, told NBC 4 New York "Alex had a lot to live for, not to die for."
Griffin Madden, a former Morris County resident and 2015 University of California-Berkeley graduate, also remains on the missing list.
Friend Saya Tomioka is looking for the photographer who took her picture with Madden in June 2015.
She wrote in a post on Facebook: "I remember tears swelling my eyes because the city was so beautiful and amidst all the lights, I got to look at the brightest light of all, my sweetie. I cried, and we kissed. Some random photographer captured this very moment, this very kiss."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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