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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Architect Charged in Death of Firefighter [Updated]

The German architect was arrested Saturday after arriving at LAX from Spain.

An architect was charged Wednesday morning with involuntary manslaughter for the death of a veteran Los Angeles firefighter. Gerhard Albert Becker was arrested at LAX on Saturday after returning to the United States from Spain. 

[Updated, Feb. 15, 4:35 p.m. PDT | Bail has been set at $2 million for architect Gerhard Albert Becker. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon.] 

Police Arrest Man for death of a Veteran Firefighter
Police Arrest Man for death of a Veteran Firefighter

Becker is a German architect who designed and oversaw the construction of a luxury home in the Hollywood Hills last year.

According to the Los Angeles City Fire Department's arson unit and the Los Angeles Police Department's robbery-homicide division, there was evidence that Becker was responsible for "grossly negligent construction." 

A fireplace that was intended for outdoor use only was installed inside, leading to the February 16, 2011 blaze that collapsed the ceiling of the home on top of firefighter Glenn Allen. Allen passed away two days later from his injuries. He was a firefighter for over 36 years.

Investigators have been working on this case for a year, and if convicted, Becker faces four years in state prison.

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