Two building owners and three contractors were arrested Thursday morning on charges including manslaughter, assault and criminally negligent homicide over the East Village blast that destroyed three buildings and killed two people nearly a year ago.
Petty corner-cutting and blatant greed caused the blast, officials said.
Sharing the blame, officials accused, are a penny-pinching building landlord, her son, her contractor, and the contractor’s unlicensed plumber, who installed a tangle of dangerous and illegal gas connections that they hid from Con Ed behind a locked basement door.
And check out this case from Michigan:
Federal officials charged a suburban Detroit restaurant owner and his wife Friday with harboring immigrants who were in the U.S. without legal permission after a fire at a house he owned killed five employees about two weeks earlier.
Roger Tam, 55, was arrested Thursday and appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. His wife, Ada Lei, 48, also has been charged, but has not been arrested because she is hospitalized for an undisclosed reason.
Five Mexican nationals lived in the basement of the home owned by Tam in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Novi, northwest of Detroit, while working at Tam's restaurant, Kim's Garden. The Jan. 31 fire has been ruled accidental and possibly caused by smoking; a smoke detector in the basement had been disabled. The basement had stairs to the first floor but windows made of glass block, which would prevent any escape in an emergency.
The charge that Tam and Lei face carries a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Illegal conversions and illegal gas hookups kill. It's time to throw the book at these people.