Landlord in Deadly Maine Apartment Fire Back in Court

Portland Fire

The owner of an apartment house in Portland where six tenants died in the deadliest Maine blaze in 40 years is returning to court this week.

Gregory Nisbet entered not guilty pleas to six counts of manslaughter in July. He is due to return to Superior Court in Portland on Friday. Court officials say he will be in court for a pre-trial conference.

Investigators say the fire started on the porch because of improperly disposed-of smoking materials. A lawsuit stemming from the fire alleges an exit was blocked.

Nisbet's lawyer says his client installed smoke detectors, but tenants disabled them. He has also said it may have been a code violation but didn't amount to gross negligence.

Nisbet is also charged with three misdemeanor code violations. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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