OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A former resident of the Ghost Ship Warehouse testified Thursday that fire safety was a top concern during the time he lived there.
Artist Mike Funkhouser who moved out of the warehouse months before the deadly inferno said that concern was especially heightened before parties and events.
"We were always trying to be proactive about the danger of fire. It was always on our minds," he testified.
But under cross examination, the prosecution asked whether there was or wasn't sprinklers in the building.
"I wasn't aware," Funkhouser answered.
He also testified as a character witness that harris was honest and trustworthy.
Harris and Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena are facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
That's the number of people who died when the warehouse burst into flames during an electronic music party in December 2016.
Harris' defense lawyer says Harris did not organize the party that night.
"It wasn't Max Harris' party. It wasn't Derick Almena'a party. It wasn't a party thrown by ghost ship," said attorney Curtis Briggs.
"What strikes me is the number of people who have confirmed and described what a fire trap this was. The amount of fuel in there. It means this was a tragedy waiting to happen," said Mary Alexander, the attorney representing the families of the fire victims in the civil lawsuit.
Relatives of the victims say coming to the trial can be frustrating and heart wrenching.
"It is 50 percent torture and 50 percent therapy. And the therapy part is just being around other families, sharing loved ones stories. It's just really inspiring," said Cyrus Hoda the brother of Sara Hoda who died inside the warehouse. She was 30 years old.
Harris is set to take the witness stand Monday.
"Max Harris certainly will get up and say he wishes he did something different. Or wishes there was something he would have set in motion to change these events. Absolutely. He feels a tremendous amount of guilt," said Briggs.
After Harris testifies, Derick Almena's attorneys will begin presenting his defense, perhaps as soon as next Tuesday.