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Walnut Creek Woman Among The Dead In Oakland Warehouse Fire

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Sara Hoda

Among the dead recovered from the charred shell of an Oakland live-work space now recorded as the scene of the deadliest fire in Oakland history was a Walnut Creek woman who loved to garden and who made her living as a teacher at a local Montessori school.

Sara Hoda’s name emerged on the initial list of identified dead released as friends and family came to grips with the breadth of the tragedy at 1305 31st Avenue – a sprawling warehouse known to its artist residents as The Ghost Ship and where at least 36 people are now believed to have lost their lives in a fast-moving fire Friday night.

Investigators have not yet said what caused the blaze.

Hoda, 30, had gone to the warehouse to dance at an organized second-floor party Friday night. Friends say her truck was still parked outside the charred, collapsed shell of the building Saturday and the reality of her loss began to sink in over the weekend.

Investigators continue to comb through the scene in search of additional victims.

13 COMMENTS

  1. @Bette — really? It’s one thing to think that, but to publicly post? What does looking like her have to do with anything?

    A woman lost her life, and to turn it into your own story is, I believe, more than a touch insensitive…
    How do you think her family and friends would feel about your comment? Show some respect, please.

  2. I meant nothing more than I was struck by how parallel our lives seemed. I mourn her as a stranger yes but also perhaps as a kindred spirit. As for her family I hope they are able to get the support they need during this time.

  3. This is so sad and tragic. Everyone there was so young. Prayers.

    Bette, I don’t think you were being insensitive. You were just expressing your feelings.

  4. So hard to believe something like this could happen in 2016 – I get why people are trying to find the right way to process their grief.

  5. We have friends wh o have kids that are active in the warehouse party scene and we crossed our fingers when we heard how many young people were believed to have died in this fire. We think everyone we know is safe and we can only imagine what the families and friends of those who died are going through. We understood the previous posters sentiment – these people came from a very diverse background and could have been anyones neighbor or son or daughter. We’re continuing to hope for the best as the search for more people continues.

  6. Hey, we all process disasters like this differently. And perhaps it makes a loss even more meaningful or relevant to your own experience when you see a person who looks like a friend, or oneself.

    Our nation’s president said if he had a son, he would have looked like Travon. I don’t think he meant to diminish the loss to Travon’s family by making it personal. This is a commonly used metaphorical tool to indicate closeness and personal loss, despite the actuality that the death is one of a complete stranger.

    So lighten up on Bette. Her thoughts were thoughtful and empathetic, unlike your own virtue posturing judgemental sneers.

    We don’t need you to police us at a time like this. I think you both owe Bette an apology.

  7. Agree with Locke. A woman saw something of herself in another and feels her loss. I understand her completely.

  8. “A garden is a grand teacher.
    It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
    it teaches industry and thrift;
    above all it teaches entire trust.”

  9. Thanks for the clarification, Bette — your follow-up comment makes more sense. Pardon me, please, that I wasn’t able to extract hidden context from your original comment, in its sparsely-worded form.

  10. Thanks GF. I’ll admit I was a little emotional when I first posted. I’m not projecting myself into this in any way but it was a little like looking into a mirror this morning. I can’t imagine what the families are going through and I am thinking of them. Thanks

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