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This photo provided by the City of Oakland shows inside the burned warehouse after the deadly fire that broke out on Dec. 2, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The death toll in the fire climbed Monday, Dec. 5, with more bodies still feared buried in the blackened ruins, and families anxiously awaited word of their missing loved ones. (City of Oakland via AP)

The manager of the burned-down warehouse got upset on live TV when accused of neglect


As the search for more casualties of the Oakland warehouse fire continues, the warehouse manager, Derick Almena, was interviewed on "The Today Show" on Tuesday.

He was visibly distraught and upset as anchors criticized him for not keeping the building safe.

So far, 36 people have been found dead in the warehouse. Firefighters were able to resume searching the building after taking down an unstable wall that posed a risk to rescue personnel.

Here's the full, emotional interview.

I would rather get on the floor and be trampled by the parents. I would rather let them tear at my flesh than answer these ridiculous questions.
Derick Almena

Almena insisted the building was the product of a "dream" and became incensed at accusations that his neglect of the building may have led to the fire. Anchor Tamron Hall said an artist told the show that Almena knew the building was dangerous and "never spent a dime on anything but partying."

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Almena wrote, "Everything I worked so hard for is gone." He later sent a statement to NBC News, offering condolences for families of victims.

He also told the Los Angeles Times the victims were his "children." His biological children were at a hotel during the fire. Normally, he lives on the second floor of the warehouse, known as the "Ghost Ship."

The warehouse was the target of many complaints over the years,   according to SFGate. Most complaints were filed for blight or "trash debris and overgrowth." 

The building is owned by Chor Ng, whose daughter Eva said "nobody lived there." 

But Almena said in his interview that many people lived at the warehouse. Some of his friends warned him that the building was a "death trap."

"He would laugh it off," neighbor Danielle Boudreaux told SFGate.

Some criticized Almena for refusing to accept responsibility in the interview.

Others blasted the news anchors.

Some found the whole situation "uncomfortable."

A vigil was held Monday night for the victims of the fire.

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