SAN DIEGO - Friends are remembering a Coronado High School graduate who died in the Oakland Warehouse Fire this weekend.
Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, graduated from Coronado High School in 2009.
"I just said I can't believe this. I was at a loss for words," said Asante Sefa-Boakye, who graduated Coronado High School in 2010. "I always thought he was a class act. At a time when there is a loss for words, that is the best expression you could say about him; he was a class act."
Gomez-Hall, a Brown University graduate, recently left Rhode Island for the Bay Area. It's unclear if he was staying at the artists' colony in Oakland or just attending the dance party.
"It's just unfortunate, that such a tragic event has to come from, be a result from something that was supposed to be, so to speak, a celebration; just a place for expression and there's a lot of backlash from people saying they're not surprised that this happened, but it was a place for artists to come and share their art, share their work, it was just really just a safe place," said Boakye.
Gomez-Hall was passionate about music, writing and the environment.
"He was just so special," said Brittany Barraza, who went to middle school and high school with Gomez-Hall.
Barraza said Gomez-Hall recently stayed with her and her husband in Texas on his way to California from Rhode Island.
"He was just a really rare kind of soul and I think that he touched more lives than he would ever possibly believe," said Barraza.
Gomez-Hall's family, who still lives in Coronado, are asking for privacy.
Jennifer Moore, principal at Coronado High School, issued the following statement to school staff members on Monday:
Our former student Nick Gomez Hall, CHS Class of 2009, perished in the Oakland fire this past weekend. Nick has two siblings, older brother Diego and younger brother Mario (Class of 2011), who also graduated from CHS.
Nick was wise, witty, talented, and incredibly kind and a friend to all. He was the type of student who seemed like a fellow adult when he would stop by his teachers' classrooms and counselors' and administrators' offices to chat about art, politics, history, literature, and life, as he often did. He was masterful in his ability to connect with others. He graduated from Brown University and was pursuing his passions, music and journalism.
Please keep Nick's family, friends, and former teachers and fans in your thoughts today, as you continue your important work connecting with our students and one another.