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Man charged in Oakland warehouse fire appears in court

OAKLAND, California. – A man charged in a December fire that killed 36 concertgoers at an illegally converted Oakland warehouse appeared briefly in court for the first time.

Max Harris is not in a plea Monday on 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter. He was ordered back to court Thursday, as a warehouse operator Derick Almena is scheduled to be arraigned on the same charges.

The East Bay Times reported that Harris’ public defender, declined to comment outside the court.

The authorities say that the couple turned out to be the Ghost Ship warehouse in the cabinet and party room that lacked fire safety systems, and it was filled with combustible material.

Almena the lawyers say that blaming others, including electric utilities and the fire department.

They are in jail on bail of a little more than $1 million a piece.

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Information from: East Bay Times, http://www.eastbaytimes.com

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