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'Next Top Model' house architect faces charges

The Local · 16 Feb 2012, 07:32

Published: 16 Feb 2012 07:32 GMT+01:00

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Gerhard Albert Becker, 48, pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday, the LA Weekly newspaper reported.

Officials alleged that Becker’s blueprints for the $7 million Hollywood Hills house showed that he had been “grossly negligent” in designing the home.

Becker had billed a huge “oversize indoor fire pit” in the fancy three story house, despite being warned that it was dangerous and potentially illegal, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported.

The Associated Press reported that a fireplace on the third floor where a fire last year may have started was designed only for outdoor use.

More than 60 fire fighters responded to the blaze and fire fighter Glenn Allen – a 61-year-old just a year away from retirement – was killed when a ceiling collapsed on top of him.

Supermodel Heidi Klum and German television producers had to scramble last year to find a new location for the filming of their reality TV show after the fire, according to the Radar Online entertainment news website.

They had already secured a filming permit and were scheduled to move in with several young German models a few weeks after the blaze.

Story continues below…

Becker was arrested over the weekend when he returned to the United States from a trip abroad. He remains in jail and bail has been set at $2 million (€1.5 million).

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:04 February 16, 2012 by Joshontour
I don't care how the house was designed, it still had to be issued an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection from a government bureaucrat. If the permit was issued at final inspection, the architect isn't to blame.
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