Maine

Trial starts for owner of Maine building where fire killed 6

  • Defendant Gregory Nisbet, the landlord of a Noyes Street apartment building, listens as defense attorney Matthew Nichols concludes his opening remarks during the first day of a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP, Pool)

    Defendant Gregory Nisbet, the landlord of a Noyes Street apartment building, listens as defense attorney Matthew Nichols concludes his opening remarks during the first day of a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defendant Gregory Nisbet, the landlord of a Noyes Street apartment building, awaits the start of opening statements in a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. At right is Sarah Churchill, a member of Nisbet's defense team.(Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP, Pool)

    Defendant Gregory Nisbet, the landlord of a Noyes Street apartment building, awaits the start of opening statements in a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. At right is Sarah Churchill, a member of Nisbet's defense team.(Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • State prosecutor John Alsop details the locations of people within 20 Noyes Street at the time of a fire that killed six during the first day of a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Landlord Gregory Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP)

    State prosecutor John Alsop details the locations of people within 20 Noyes Street at the time of a fire that killed six during the first day of a manslaughter trial Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Portland, Me. Landlord Gregory Nisbet was indicted for manslaughter stemming from the November 2014 fire that killed six people in Portland. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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.