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Santa Monica High School Graduate Victim of Oakland Fire
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

December 6, 2016 -- Santa Monica High School graduate David Cline has been identified as one of at least 36 victims killed in a fire that swept through an Oakland warehouse last week.

Cline, 24, who graduated from UC Berkeley last year with BA degrees in cognitive science and computer science, was a star on the high school volleyball team that won a state championship.
Picture of David Cline

The Oakland resident also was an avid clarinet player who performed in high school recitals on an instrument he had studied since second grade.

Cline's clarinet teacher Amanda Jane Walker, an arts and music lecturer at UC Irvine, recalled her former pupil as an "outstanding person" whose death was “heartbreaking and devastating.”

(Left: A Facebook photo of David Cline)

On Monday, Walker posted on her Facebook page a short bio Cline wrote that accompanied his senior recital, in which he described himself as “a devoted volleyball player.”

He said he enjoyed “late night walks in the park” and “sunshine with his friends.” Most of the bio, however, paid tribute to his music teacher of ten years.

In a Facebook posting Monday, his brother Neil Cline wrote: “To David, we love you. You will be with us always” and thanked those who supported the family after the agonizing news for their "kindness, help and love."

Cline was one of as many as 100 people attending a dance party Friday night at the two-story, 86-year-old building known as the "Ghost Ship" when fire broke out at about 11:30 p.m., according to press reports.

After firefighters extinguished the blaze that had collapsed the roof and second floor, rescue crews found the victim's bodies throughout what was left of the building, authorities said.

Crews were still searching for bodies Monday night.

The building, authorities said, was a deathtrap that continued operating despite numerous warnings.

At least ten complaints dating back to 1998 were filed against the building, including charges that it was not fit for habitation, was blighted, a nuisance and a hazard, according to Oakland City records analyzed in the press.

The couple who ran the warehouse, Derick "Ion" Almena and his wife, Micah Allison, were reportedly renting spaces illegally and holding raves without special permits, including the one of Friday.

Oakland officials said on Monday that murder or involuntary manslaughter charges could possibly be filed.

“I know that people have been asking us, is this a murder case, what is it?” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said during a news conference. “And my answer to you now is the question is whether or not the range of charges could be murder all the way to involuntary manslaughter."

She added that there would be other charges "if the evidence presents that. And we don’t know until we finish our investigation.”

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