Mural of Michela, a Ghost Ship Fire victim, lives on in Mission District

- The clouds of grief and sadness never seem to leave Kimberly and David Gregory for very long. They say they think about their daughter Michela every day, and about what happened to her.

There are 36 families who lost loved ones in Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire last December. This story is just one of them. 

"I try to make it day by day. I try not to think about it but it is impossible. I just miss my daughter," said David, Michela's father.

"Still feels like a few days. My heart is still broken," said her mother, Kimberly.

There are pictures and memories of 20-year-old Michela throughout the South San Francisco home where they all lived.

Her backpack is still on her bedroom chair, right where she left it.

"She was a happy kid. She enjoyed spending time with her boyfriend and family. A normal kid. This could be anyone's kid," said David.

Last December 2nd, after a busy week, Michela went out with her longtime boyfriend Alex Vega.

They ended up in Oakland at a warehouse party that was highlighting electronic dance music and DJs in a place called the Ghost Ship Warehouse. 

36 people died in the fire. 

Firefighters found the bodies of Michela and Alex. They died in each others's arms.

"At least they were together. They weren't alone," said David.

The Gregorys asked artist Mel Waters to paint a mural of Micaela and Alex in San Francisco's Mission District. 

It's a place family and friends can come visit and remember.

The Gregorys had their daughter cremated and each keeps some of her ashes on a pendant close to their hearts. 

The Gregorys said they watched closely the jailhouse interview with Ghost Ship manager Derick Almena on KTVU earlier this month.

"I just wanted to see if there was any remorse. I just hear excuses on his part," said David. 

They also say they believe more people should be held responsible.

But mostly they say their thoughts are with Michela.

She was a high school softball star, and was in her third year at San Franciso State University, learning how to help developmentally disabled children.

"She always told people just be kind. Just be kind. Those were her words," said Kimberly.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories