Verdicts reached in California warehouse fire that killed 36

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A jury has reached verdicts for two men accused of turning a San Francisco Bay Area warehouse into a cluttered maze that trapped 36 partygoers during a fast-moving fire.

Defense attorney Brian Getz says his client, Derick Almena, and Almena’s co-defendant Max Harris will hear their fate Thursday afternoon after a three-month trial on involuntary manslaughter charges.

They face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.

The December 2016 fire broke out during an electronic music party at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, killing 36 people.

Prosecutors allege the men were criminally negligent when they illegally converted the industrial building into a residence for artists and held unpermitted events inside.

The defendants say city workers are to blame for not raising concerns about fire hazards in the warehouse.

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