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5 restaurant workers died in fire of boss-owned home

/ 08:47 AM February 02, 2016

NOVI, Michigan — Five men likely were overcome by thick smoke and died in a fire at a home owned by their boss, who owned a Chinese restaurant, authorities said Monday.

Autopsies and efforts to identify the men were ongoing, although the victims appeared to be from Mexico, based on documents and evidence. It isn’t known how long the men, in their 20s and 30s, had lived in the home or worked at the Chinese restaurant, Molloy said.

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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, northwest of Detroit.

“We’re looking at all avenues of investigation to include human trafficking or illegal servitude. … Our investigation is very broad at this point and we will investigate all avenues,” Molloy told The Associated Press when asked about possible charges.

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Molloy said investigators are getting help from federal authorities on the immigration status of the five men.

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TAGS: Chinese restaurant, Detroit, Fire
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