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Restaurant owner whose employers died in basement fire is charged in Detroit

Police and fire officials investigate a house fire that killed five people at a home in Novi, Mich., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Authorities say five restaurant workers were killed in the house fire near Detroit. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.  (Brandy Baker/Detroit News via AP)  DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Police and fire officials investigate a house fire that killed five people at a home in Novi, Mich., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Authorities say five restaurant workers were killed in the house fire near Detroit. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. (Brandy Baker/Detroit News via AP) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT  (Brandy Baker/Detroit News via AP)

Federal officials in suburban Detroit charged a restaurant owner and his wife with harboring undocumented immigrants after five of his employees died during a fire at their home two weeks ago.

Police, immigration officials and the U.S. attorney's office said Friday that 55-year-old
Roger Tam, 55, and Ada Lei, 48, were charged after five Mexican nationals died in the Jan. 31 fire.

The men were found in a basement that had stairs to the first floor but windows made of glass block, which would prevent any escape in a sudden emergency, said David Molloy, public safety director in Novi, 20 miles northwest of Detroit.

Authorities said the me, whose age ranged from 16 to 23, lived in Tam’s basement.

Tam is in custody, while Lei remains in a hospital for an undisclosed reason.

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A message was left for Tam's lawyer, who was not immediately available. Police said Lei has a lawyer but didn't have the name available.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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