The manager of the Oakland, California, warehouse where at least 36 people died in a fire last weekend expressed his sorrow in an interview with NBC's "TODAY."

Derick Almena, 47, was set off by questions about the safety of the space, which was being used as a collective for artists known as the "Ghost Ship."

The massive fire broke out Friday night during a party and the building reportedly had no sprinklers.

Almena said he had tried to use the space to "make this a stronger and more beautiful community and to bring people together."

He said he signed a lease on a building "that was to city standards supposedly."

Almena said his three children regularly slept in the building and he objected to accusations that he profited off the building and only spent money on parties.

"This is not profit. This is loss. This is a mass grave," he said. 

"People didn’t walk through those doors because it was a horrible place. People didn’t seek us out to perform and express themselves because it was a horrible place," he continued.

"I didn’t do anything ever in my life that would lead me up to this moment. I’m an honorable man. I’m a proud man," he said, as he refused to answer anymore questions from Matt Lauer and Tamron Hall.

"I’d rather get on the floor and be trampled by the parents. I’d rather let them tear at my flesh than answer these ridiculous questions. I’m so sorry, I’m incredibly sorry."

Watch the full interview below and the latest on the investigation above from Fox News' Adam Housley. 


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