PORTLAND, Maine – A prosecutor says an apartment house where six people died in the worst fire in Maine in decades was in foreclosure, neglected and a "death trap" in the event of a fire.
Assistant Attorney General John Alsop said in opening statements Monday that landlord Gregory Nisbet had stopped making mortgage payments, wasn't maintaining the home, and wasn't even keeping tabs on who lived there. He said the home lacked working smoke detectors and emergency exits.
Nisbet is on trial for six counts of manslaughter in Portland, where the fire happened Nov. 1, 2014, after a Halloween party. Officials say the fire started on a porch because of improperly disposed smoking materials.
Defense attorney Matt Nichols said there are questions whether the home a duplex or a boarding house, and which safety codes applied.