ORANGE, New Jersey - The mother of an artist from New Jersey is speaking out about her son, who is among the missing after the deadly warehouse fire in Oakland.
Emilie Grandchamps tells Eyewitness News that her son, Alex Ghassan has always gone out of his way to support other artists. There is a reason why the producer-director went to a party Friday night in Oakland at the 'Ghost Ship Warehouse' with his fiancé.
Emilie has not heard from her only child or officials in California. She tells Eyewitness News that the waiting is unbearable.
"I've prepared myself for the worst, and I pray for the best," said Emilie.
Hoping her only son, Alex is found alive, Emilie is well-aware he may not be.
"It's excruciating. Everybody is calling, asking, wondering," she says.
Emilie spoke to Eyewitness News inside her home in Alex's room, where the up-and-coming director works on many of his projects. Now living in Oakland, he also has many other officers on the table in Europe - that's where he met and fell in love with his fiancée, Hannah.
Alex and Hannah were inside the Oakland warehouse where the deadly blaze started.
Emilie spoke to a friend who was with the couple. He said it turned so dark he couldn't see, and he had to put his hands against the wall to get out. He found a way out. They tried to get other people out with him, but they couldn't, because it was too dark.
Dynamic and fearless, Alex has twin 4-year-old girls with their mother in Hoboken.
"They are the apple of his eyes, and they're artists at heart already," Emilie says.
Friends in the area are also extremely worried about Alex.
"I love you so much. We want you home as soon as possible for the holidays, and we're just out here spreading your message," said Richardine Bartee.
Emilie last spoke to Alex on Wednesday. It may turn out to be the last time she heard her son's voice.
"He always wanted to be remembered by his work, so let's celebrate him and his work," she said.
Emilie, waiting by the phone, in another bit of irony - he at one point lived in a loft space in Jersey City similar to the warehouse in Oakland.
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