BY KATE CAGLE
In just one day, more than $10,000 in donations poured in for the funeral costs of David Cline, a Santa Monica High School graduate killed in the Oakland warehouse fire.
“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,” David’s brother, Neil Cline, said in a statement.
A Santa Monica native, the 24-year-old was living in Oakland after graduating from UC Berkeley with degrees in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. He was not living at the Oakland warehouse that caught fire during a dance party Friday night, killing at least 36 people. He attended the event that evening with a friend, Griffin Madden, at the artist collective known as the Ghost Ship. Madden is still missing.
“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,” Neil said.
Cline attended elementary, middle and high school in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District where he played volleyball for the Samohi team. He graduated in 2011 and attended UC Berkeley following graduation
“He is being remembered by teachers, staff and classmates, as a wonderful student and a young man with a tremendous future ahead of him,” said district spokeswoman Gail Pinkser.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Dozens of families are mourning their loved ones killed in the fire while several concert attendees remain missing. Oakland Fire Deputy Chief Darin White expected crews to finish searching the remains of the building by midnight Tuesday. Fire officials have begun knocking down parts of the building they consider structurally unsound.
At this point, recovery crews have found 36 bodies and notified 26 of their families. Another nine bodies have been “tentatively identified,” according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Tya Modeste. Officials sill have no identity for at least one discovered body.
Early Tuesday morning the founder of the artists’ colony told the “Today Show” he was “incredibly sorry.” In his first interview since the deadly fire, Derek Ion Almena said he started the community in the warehouse as a dream for the arts and performing arts, but, he said, sometimes “your dream is bigger than your pocketbook.”
Almena, who lived in the warehouse with is family and other residents, said he signed a lease for the building that “was to city standards supposedly.”
Almena also said he didn’t make a profit off the residents.
“This is not profit; this is loss. This is a mass grave,” Almena said.