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Defendant in fatal warehouse blaze ‘not blaming anyone’

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The founder of a California communal living warehouse where a fire killed 36 people more than two years ago says he’s not blaming anyone else in the deadly fire.

The East Bay Times reports Derick Almena’s assertion during his cross-examination Thursday was met with scoffs from some of the victims’ relatives.

The 49-year-old Almena is accused of illegally converting the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse into a communal living space and faces 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter along with co-defendant Max Harris.

Almena’s defense has made it known they are shifting blame to city officials, such as police, fire and building inspectors who they say should have known about the dangers of the Ghost Ship warehouse.

Almena’s attorney Tony Serra is expected to question his client again Thursday afternoon.

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Information from: East Bay Times, http://www.eastbaytimes.com

Associated Press

Associated Press

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