UPDATE: Delta Inn Motel fire ruled undetermined


ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) — After a fire scene investigation at the Delta Inn Motel, the Escanaba Department of Public Safety has determined the fire originated from room 107.

The cause of the fire has been ruled undetermined, but smoking and a portable home oxygen device may have contributed to the cause.

The two victims, 72-year-old Daniel Lehman and 17-year-old Hunter Gauthier were both residents of the Delta Inn Motel.

Another Delta Inn Motel resident, William Hermes, was able to pull an individual from room 107 just before the flames grew more intense.

Joseph Hiller, the 50-year-old Delta Inn resident was transported to U.P. Health Systems in Marquette in critical condition for a fractured back sustained while jumping from the roof was released on May 5th.

Hiller assisted Donald Balthazore to the safety of the roof before being injured himself.

Balthazore was initially taken to OSF St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, with burns over 25% of his body, then later air lifted to St. Mary’s Burn Center in Milwaukee, where he is still currently receiving treatment.

Captain Hunter and the Escanaba Department of Public Safety gave high praise to a man who saw smoke a pulled over to help.

Angel Lozada was driving with his wife, when the two noticed black smoke coming from the motel.

Lozada pulled over and checked every room on the first floor to make sure people were not in the rooms, but he did have to pull one person from a room.

Then Lozada helped tenants to safety who were trapped on the roof. He even assisted public safety when they first arrived.

Escanaba Public Safety believes Angel’s actions helped spare any additional lives on that day.

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