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VIDEO: Judge says there is enough evidence to send 2 men to trial for Ghost Ship fire, calls building a 'death trap'

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A judge says there is enough evidence to send 2 men to trial for an Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 partygoers.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner ruled Thursday that prosecutors presented enough evidence to move forward with the criminal case against Derick Almena and Max Harris.

Horner called the building a death trap.

An Oakland fire marshal says he did not find any records of requests by firefighters to inspect the warehouse where 36 people died in the worst building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade.

Oakland Fire Marshal Miguel Trujillo testified Thursday at a hearing to determine whether two men should face trial in the December 2, 2016, blaze at the Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. The testimony came two days after Oakland Fire Capt. George Freelen testified that he visited the warehouse in 2014 and reported his concerns about potential fire danger to Trujillo's office.

Almena rented the Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship that burned on Dec. 2, 2016, during an electronic music concert. It was the worst building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade.

The warehouse had been illegally converted into living space for artists. Prosecutors say Almena and Harris deceived the building's owner, police and fire officials about people living there.

The two have pleaded not guilty.

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