AMHERST, N.Y. -- An Amherst woman confirmed Monday that her granddaughter is among the victims of the Oakland, California warehouse fire where the death toll has reached 36.
Chelsea Faith Dolan is the oldest granddaughter of Marion Dolan, who lives in Amherst and raised her children in Western New York.
Some of Ms. Dolan's family still lives in Western New York, but several family members, including Chelsea, moved to California some time ago.
Chelsea was a performing keyboard player who focused on electronic music, and Ms. Dolan says Chelsea was playing for a dance party the night of the fire.
This weekend, she received a call from one of her daughters.
"She called me and said, Coleen, the mother of Chelsea, had called her just long enough to tell her that there was this fire, and it was where Chelsea was playing music,” Marion said. "They're staying right there in Oakland until they…find Chelsea. "
Chelsea, who is in her early 30s, had been living in San Francisco, but was visiting Oakland to play for this party.
Fire officials say most of the dancers escaped, however many of the musicians likely did not.
Marion Dolan said Chelsea was in the Buffalo area just this past summer to help her grandmother celebrate her 90th birthday.
"She was here in July for about a week, and all I saw of her was a happy gal," Marion said.
Ms. Dolan said Sunday she was starting to come to terms with the outcome of the horrific fire, but she said the worst part is waiting. She said just knowing Chelsea was found or identified would help bring her some closure. For now, she is glued to the TV watching the news for any updates.
"I've accepted now," she said. "I know she couldn't possibly have gotten out of that fire. Especially being on the second floor with all the musicians, where they said they were all on this loft up above."
Marion also stressed the important role music played in Chelsea's life.
"Music was her life. It's just...everything was centered around her music, and if she got a chance to play, she went," she said.
Ms. Dolan said Chelsea was bright, talented, and first started playing piano as a child. She switched to keyboard throughout adulthood and had performances that would take her all over the country.
"If she got a chance to play, she went," Marion said.
This one gig, however, brought her to the second floor of that converted Oakland warehouse.
Chelsea's stage name was Cherushii. According to LA Weekly, the artist company "100% Silk" confirmed to the news outlet that Dolan was one of two artists missing who were signed to their label.