The Latest: Owner not charged in Oakland warehouse fire

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The Latest on prosecutors filing charges in Oakland warehouse fire (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

The owner of an Oakland warehouse that officials say was illegally turned into a living and party space where 36 people died in a December fire was not charged as prosecutors ended their investigation.

Alameda County prosecutors instead charged a man who rented the warehouse and his assistant with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, saying they turned the warehouse into a "firetrap."

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley declined to say if more charges were coming.


12:15 a.m.

The first criminal charges have been filed after 36 people died in a fire six months ago at an Oakland warehouse and artists collective.

Forty-seven-year-old Derick Almena, who founded the Ghost Ship warehouse and his 27-year-old right-hand man Max Harris were each arrested and charged Monday with three dozen counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said Almena had turned the warehouse into a "deathtrap."

Court documents say his reckless actions created "a high risk of death" at the Ghost Ship.

The two men were each being held on bail of nearly $1.1 million.

Almena's three lawyers called their client a "scapegoat" and the charges a miscarriage of justice.