SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 - - Some of the thousands of people join a vigil on the beach in honor of those who lost their lives in the Conception boat fire along the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica on September 5, 2019. The ceremony was organized by organized by Heal The Bay and Eco Dive Center. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Seven Bay Area residents among victims of fatal boat fire

Authorities in Santa Barbara on Friday released the names of 22 people who died in the Conception dive boat fire over Labor Day weekend, including seven from the Bay Area.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said 23 of the total 34 victims had been identified. However, one victim’s name was not released on Friday pending notification of family.

The 22 names that Brown released Friday include Bay Area residents Raymond “Scott” Chan, 59, of Los Altos; Daniel Garcia, 46, of Berkeley; Yulia Krashennaya, 40, of Berkeley; Caroline McLaughlin, 35, of Oakland; Carol Diana Adamic, 60, of Santa Cruz; Steven Salika, 55, of Santa Cruz and Tia Salika-Adamic, 17, of Santa Cruz.

Chan, who was a physics teacher at American High School in Fremont, and his daughter Kendra have previously been named as victims in the tragic boat fire.

In addition, the city of Santa Cruz has identified Kristina Finstad, a former city employee, as another victim with ties to the Bay Area.

Divers with the Sheriff’s office, the FBI and the National Parks Service are still searching for the remains of the last victim, with 33 remains accounted for.

The Santa Barbara sheriff told reporters Friday that many of the passengers aboard the Conception likely died of smoke inhalation during the fire.

“Our pathologist is convinced without having to conduct autopsies these victims were victims of smoke inhalation,” Brown said during the Friday morning news conference. “That is going to likely be the primary cause of death.” He said further information regarding causes of death will be released pending toxicology test results.

A total of 39 passengers, including five crewmembers that were the only survivors, were aboard the boat when the blaze started.

A vigil for the victims was held at Friday evening at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara.

In addition to the Bay Area victims, the sheriff released the names of 18 others on Friday after making contact with their families: Justin Carroll Dignam 58, of Anaheim; Marybeth Guiney, 51, of Santa Monica; Alexandra Kurtz, 26, of Santa Barbara; Ted Strom, 62, of Germantown, Tennessee; Wei Tan, 26, of Goleta; Kendra Chan, 26, of Oxnard; Angela Rose Quitasol, 28, of Stockton; Evan Michel Quitasol, 37, of Stockton; Nicole Storm Quitasol, 31, of Imperial Beach; Michael Quitasol, 62, of Stockton; Andrew Fritz, 40, of Sacramento; Charles McIlvain, 44, of Santa Monica; Neal Gustav Baltz, 42, of Phoenix; Patricia Ann Beitzinger, 48, of Chandler, Arizona; and Vaidehi Campbell, 41, of Felton.

Bay Area NewsCalifornia

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