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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gerhard Albert Becker: Architect Charged in death of LA Firefighter Glenn Allen

Los Angeles City Fire Department
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LOS ANGELES – An architect who designed and oversaw construction of a luxury home in the Hollywood Hills where a veteran Los Angeles firefighter perished in a blaze a year ago was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with one count of involuntary manslaughter. Gerhard Albert Becker, 48 (dob 1/30/1964), was scheduled to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 30. Becker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport when he flew to Los Angeles from Spain on Saturday. He has remained in custody since his arrest. Becker was charged in case No. BA 393940 with one count of involuntary manslaughter. Bail was recommended at $2 million by Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney of the Target Crimes Division. The defendant, a German national, has been out of the country since the Feb. 16, 2011, blaze that claimed the life of Glenn Allen, 61. Allen was killed when a burning ceiling fell on him. He was a firefighter for more than 36 years. The Los Angeles City Fire Department’s arson investigators worked closely with detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division on the nearly year-long probe leading up to the filing of today’s case. The fire in the multi-level newly constructed home in the 1500 block of Viewsite Drive in the Hollywood Hills was believed started by a negligently installed inside fireplace designed for outside use only. Prosecutors said Becker designed the home and was the main contractor. He was charged after investigators found evidence of grossly negligent construction. If convicted, Becker faces a four year state prison term
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