You may have already heard that architect Gerhard Becker was arrested at LAX today and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2011 death of a firefighter. The house at 1546 Viewsite Ter. was set to host the Germany's Next Top Model cast and wasn't even finished a year ago when it caught fire; a ceiling collapsed on veteran firefighter Glen Allen and he died two days later. According to the LA Times, "Prosecutors allege that Becker, a German national, built an 18-foot 'fire trough' through the home despite being warned of the dangers it may cause. It was described as an oversize indoor fire pit...They believed the fire started in the fireplace, then spread to the walls and ceiling areas. They said the attic was equipped with plastic pipes for fire sprinklers. The fire melted the pipes, flooding the attic and filling the insulation with water."
Becker, who designed and oversaw construction the house, left the country after the fire but returned to LA today and could be sentence to up to four years in prison. But here's the awful kicker--the house has been fixed up and was listed on the MLS just over a week ago. The listing calls it "brand new construction" and "a triumph to modern architecture and design." And the list of permits pulled on this thing just add to the sadness. Here's one from September 2011: "Replace existing pre-fabricated fireplace with the same size and in the same location. Installation shall be as per manufacturer's recommendations." Asking price is $10.95 million and one German architect's soul.
· Architect who designed and built home charged in firefighter death [LAT]
· 1546 VIEWSITE Dr [Redfin]