Defendant Max Harris, 1 of 2 blamed in deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire, takes stand

One of two men blamed for a warehouse fire that killed 36 people in the San Francisco Bay Area two years ago got a chance to testify in court.

Max Harris took the witness stand Monday in Oakland.

He faces involuntary manslaughter charges along with Derick Almena, who is accused of illegally converting the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse into an unlicensed entertainment venue and artist live-work space where the fire broke out in December 2016.

Harris is accused of collecting rent and booking unpermitted concerts at the warehouse.

Prosecutors said the men were criminally negligent by filling the building with flammable materials and failing to install sprinklers and smoke detectors.

Harris' lawyers deny the allegations and say he was made a scapegoat for the tragedy.