Nicole “Nikki” Finlay grew up in Westbrook and attended Westbrook High School.

She was best friends with Ashley Thomas, and the two lived on the third floor of 20 Noyes St., sharing a bathroom. She worked at Greenlight Studio, a cafe and play space on nearby Dartmouth Street.

“We all went to Westbrook High School together,” said a close friend, Joshua Hunter Lutinski.

Lutinski said he visited with Finlay, whom he considered his little sister, on Friday night, hours before the fire.

Jo Moser, owner of Greenlight Studio, where Finlay had worked for six weeks, said she knew something was wrong when Finlay failed to come to work Saturday morning or to call. Moser said Finlay was normally very conscientious.

“I knew it was not a good sign,” said Moser.

She said Finlay asked for a job after dropping in one day for coffee.

“She had just an amazing impression on our business, staff and customers. She was just beautiful, very positive and competent,” said Moser.

On Halloween Day she showed up dressed as a genie and helped out on face-painting with the children.

“She left her little brass lamp here,” said Moser.

Moser said Finlay exuded lightness and joy.

“Our staff is just reeling,” said Moser.

– Beth Quimby