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German architect pleads no contest in death of LA firefighter crushed during mansion blaze

A German architect has pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Los Angeles firefighter crushed in the collapse of a ceiling during a fire at a luxury home the architect designed and built in the Hollywood Hills.

Gerhard Albert Becker entered the plea Friday and was sentenced to three years of probation and a year in county jail. However, he had already surrendered and his attorney says Becker will only serve six months in custody.

During a Feb. 16, 2011, fire at the mansion, water from a melted pipe filled a false ceiling until it collapsed on 61-year-old Firefighter Glenn Allen, who died two days later.

Authorities faulted the construction, particularly a third-floor fireplace that was designed only for outdoor use.

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