Twenty-year-old SF State Metro Academies student Michela Gregory was among those who perished in the tragic Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland over the weekend.
In an email sent out to the SF State community, President Leslie E. Wong addressed the incident that claimed more than 30 lives.
“I would like to let you know and express my profound sadness that a San Francisco State alumna, Donna Kellogg ‘10, has perished and a current student, Michela Gregory, remains missing following a tragic fire,” Wong said. “I ask that you keep the families affected by this terrible catastrophe in your thoughts and prayers.”
The news that Gregory had been confirmed as one of the deceased came out only hours after Wong issued the statement.
Gregory worked at Urban Outfitters with her friend and journalism major Chloe McDaniels while they both studied at SF State.
McDaniels worked with Gregory earlier on Friday, recalling that her friend’s lively and happy demeanor on that day were nothing out of the ordinary.
“Even though there was little hope that Michela would be found, I couldn’t fathom that the happy girl I was working with the same day as the fire, is gone,” McDaniels said.
McDaniels and Gregory often worked side by side. She remembers how they used to walk to their cars together and discuss everything from how much Gregory loved her boyfriend, to what their lives would be like in the future.
Psychology major Jesus Peraza was also a friend and former coworker of Gregory’s when they worked together at Chipotle.
Peraza recalls running into Gregory a week or so before Thanksgiving and she told him how happy she was to now be working at Urban Outfitters because it allowed her to express her creativity.
“She was so creative, you can see in her makeup and they way she liked to dress,” Peraza said. “She liked going to raves, it was a place where she would dance and feel free.”
Kimberly Gregory, Michela’s mother, confirmed in a Facebook post Monday that her daughter had been identified as one of the deceased. She said that Gregory was found clothed with her backpack that contained her ID and that her boyfriend, Alex Vega, had yet to be identified and was still considered missing.
Authorities have since confirmed that Vega has been identified as one of the deceased, the East Bay Times reported.
A video with photos set to the tune “Midnight Hour” by SDIB posted on Kimberly Gregory’s Facebook page, chronicles the closeness between Michela and one of her friends.
According to President Les Wong’s statement, SF State would be increasing counseling services for those in need of support during this difficult time.