Restaurant owner free on bond; 5 men died in his home

Associated Press

Detroit — A restaurant owner who lost five workers in a fire at a Novi house he owns has been released on bond while charged with illegally harboring immigrants.

A federal judge on Wednesday released Roger Tam after he spent nearly a week in custody. A teenager and four young men from Mexico died Jan. 31 during a fire in the basement of a Novi home.

The fire may have been started by a cigarette.

The basement had stairs to the first floor, but the basement windows were made of glass block, which would prevent any escape in an emergency.

Authorities believe the victims who died worked 16-hour days, six days a week at Kim’s Garden Chinese restaurant. They were not in the U.S. legally.