Coroner confirms grad student, musician were among dead in warehouse fire

Friends and family members of those lost in the fire set up flowers in a makeshift memorial in Oakland on Sunday, December 4, 2016. (Jonah Owen Lamb/S.F. Examiner)

The Alameda County coroner’s bureau today confirmed the names of two more victims of the warehouse fire in Oakland last Friday night: a graduate student in psychology and a local musician. Jennifer Mendiola, 35, and Joseph Matlock, 36, were both killed in the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in the Fruitvale district where a total of 36 people died, city and county officials said. They were both Oakland residents.

Matlock was a musician who went by the name Joey Casio. He had ties to Washington and Oregon and was a popular performer in the underground electronic music scene.

“His performances were seriously electric. Everyone got together to dance and Joey would always make us dance harder,” one friend wrote on Facebook.

Mendiola was a graduate student at the University of California at Merced who studied psychology and was preparing to begin work on her doctoral thesis.

Her research included studying the factors that influence risk behaviors and poor health, such as close relationships and emotional experiences. She had two papers published in the last year, according to the university.

She authored an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times about the risks Latinos face in getting flu shots that was published last year, the first published op-ed by a psychological sciences graduate student at the university, according to the university.

On a Facebook memorial page, friends remembered her as a lover of arts and music and a diligent worker. She was friendly, kind and empathetic.

The release of their names brings the total number of publicly released names to 31. Crews have completed their search of the rubble and have identified all 36 bodies as of today and notified their families. Five names still have not been publicly confirmed.

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