Alex Vega, 22, and his girlfriend, Michela Gregory, 20, went to the Ghost Ship warehouse on Friday, Dec. 2 to dance. The two had been dating for five years and, by friends’ accounts, loved music, art, and each other.
"Honestly, I believe they were made for each other," Vega’s best friend Alex Vargas told the East Bay Times.
Vega and Gregory both worked at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary in Daly City. Vega also worked as a valet attendant for Peninsula Parking. Raised in San Bruno, where he still lived with his parents to save money, Vega graduated from Capuchino High School in 2012.
“Alex was very shy when you first met him," says Lucero Govea, a wellness counselor at Capuchino who was close with Vega. "But once you got him to open up he had so much to share."
Vega was interested in painting, graffiti and hip-hop music. With friends, he helped to organize underground rap shows in the Bay Area. He also loved cars, and had saved up enough money to buy his dream ride last year: a 1999 silver Mazda Miata. After the fire, that car was still parked at the San Bruno BART station where the couple had left it before the party.
The day after the fire, standing outside the burned out remains of the warehouse on 31st Street, Vega's brother Dan spoke about how close he was with his “baby brother,” despite the 14 year age difference between them, and how much family meant to Vega.
"He was a quiet and artistic young man, who loved his family very much,” Govea says. "He still had so much more to share."
For more of our tributes to the victims of the Oakland warehouse fire, please visit our remembrances page here.
For a printable poster of the illustration above, see here.
Funding for KQED Arts is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Support is also provided by Yogen and Peggy Dalal, Diane B. Wilsey, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Helen Sarah Steyer, the William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, and the members of KQED