Maine Landlord Sentenced in Fatal Apt. Fire

A Portland, Maine, landlord has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for a misdemeanor fire code violation at his Noyes Street apartment building, where six people died in a fire in November of 2014.

Landlord Gregory Nibset will also have to pay a $1,000 fine.

"I, myself, mourn and cry daily," Nisbet told a judge during his sentencing Thursday.

He was acquitted of six counts of manslaughter, for the six people killed in his building. He could have faced 180 days in jail for the fire code violation conviction.

The fire on Noyes Street started accidentally, from a cigarette. But prosecutors argued that Nisbet did not have the building up to code, and did not provide adequate means of escape.

They called the building a "death trap," and said the tenants living upstairs had no way to survive the fire, because of the condition of the building.

Family members gave victim impact statements during the sentencing, and asked the judge to impose the maximum jail time. Nisbet received half of that: 90 days. He can appeal the sentence.

It was the first time in Maine state history that a landlord was charged for the death of a tenant, and the judge called it the most difficult sentence he has ever had to decide.

"We wanted to the maximum jail sentence," said Ashley Summers, wife of victim Steven Summers. "We have to deal with this every day. [Nisbet] is going to have a short disruption in his life."

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