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Men Charged In Deaths At Oakland Warehouse Fire

Josh Edelson / AP

Firefighters clear an entry to a smoldering building after a fire tore through a warehouse party early Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 in Oakland.

Josh Edelson / AP

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: (AP) - The Alameda County district attorney says she has filed 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter against two men in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed three dozen people in December in Oakland, California.

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announced the charges on Monday against Derick Almena, saying he rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse, and Max Harris, who is accused of planning an unpermitted party.

Both men were arrested earlier Monday.

Prosecutors say so much evidence was destroyed in the blaze that a specific cause of the fire will likely never be known.

O'Malley says the organizers were reckless and "knowingly created a firetrap with inadequate means of escape." She says one way out of the building was blocked.

O'Malley says each defendant could face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.


ORIGINAL: (AP) - A source close to the investigation tells The Associated Press that two men have been arrested and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 partygoers in Oakland.

The Alameda County district attorney says she will formally announce charges later Monday.

The person says Derick Almena and Max Harris will each be charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The source was not authorized to publicly discuss the charges and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities say Almena leased the warehouse and illegally sublet space for artists to live and work. He also held for-profit concerts at the warehouse, which was not licensed for entertainment.

Harris lived at the Ghost Ship and is accused of helping plan the December concert where the fire broke out.

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