Woman grieves the loss of 5 friends in Oakland Ghost Ship fire

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dancers send prayers into the sky in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood as Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo's weekly peace march became a memorial for the victims of the Ghost Ship fire.

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Sonjia Miles lost five friends. "Johnny was quirky. He was kind of funny and Donna, she was just a ray of light," she said. "Sara was a very peaceful and loving person. Nick was jovial and he loved to travel. Barrett, he was just a loving individual too."

She says the man who ran the artist's collective, Derick Ion Almena, took advantage of people.

"It really insults me every time he calls them his children and all of that," Miles told ABC7 News. "No. If these were his children he would have loved them enough to fix the place up."

Gallo says the city needs to do its part to enforce the fire code. "The fire marshals are practically not here and I think the fire marshal isthe most effective individual to enforce the codes."

Meanwhile, ATF investigators mapped the building. They now say a refrigerator was not the cause of the fire, but they're looking at electrical sources.

"It just angers me because we have a lot of fellow artists who struggle, but live and work in better environments," said Jo-Ann Donivan.

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Gallo says he'd like to see a moratorium on evictions while the city pushes landlords to make safety improvements.

Click here for all ABC7 News stories, videos, and photos from the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.
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