- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A Brooklyn pastor has been charged two years after a blaze ripped through an illegally subdivided building he owned, leaving a 24-year-old tenant dead and nine others injured.

Seventy-eight-year-old Luckner Lorient was charged Thursday with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the November 2014 fire that killed Jeff Frederic. Lorient pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Prosecutors say the fire broke out when a water cooler connected to an overloaded electrical outlet burst into flames.

Authorities say Lorient ignored citations to vacate the three-story building. Authorities say he illegally turned two upper floors into single-room-occupancy housing while operating his church out of a storefront.

Investigators say the subdivided floors were designed as one-family apartments but Lorient converted them into 11 separate rooms that were rented to 23 people.



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