After criminal case, lawsuits loom in deadly warehouse fire

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Relatives of people killed in a 2016 California warehouse fire say others besides the two men who agreed to plea deals are responsible for their losses.

They are suing the city of Oakland, the building’s owner and Pacific Gas & Electric Co., alleging issues related to inspections and maintenance.

Derick Almena and Max Harris each pleaded no contest Tuesday to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fire at the illegally converted Oakland warehouse dubbed the Ghost Ship.

Prosecutors say Almena rented the warehouse and illegally converted it into a residence and entertainment venue. Almena hired Harris to help collect rent and schedule concerts.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Almena could be sentenced to nine years in prison and Harris could face a six-year term.

Categories: California News