UPDATE: Names released of victims in Escanaba Motel fire

A fire at a motel on Ludington Street in Escanaba killed 2 people and injured 3 others...
A fire at a motel on Ludington Street in Escanaba killed 2 people and injured 3 others Thursday afternoon. (WLUC Photo) (WLUC)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 1:48 PM EDT
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UPDATE: May 13, 2020. 6:30 p.m.

The two victims who died in the Delta Inn Motel fire on Thursday, April 30 have been identified.

72-year-old Daniel Lehman and 17-year-old Hunter Gauthier were both residents of the Delta Inn, according to a press release sent out by the Escanaba Department of Public Safety.

Three other residents were injured in the fire. 66-year-old Donald Balthazore was initially taken to OSF St. Francis Hospital in critical condition and reported to have burns over 25% of his body. He was later air lifted to St. Mary's Burn Center in Milwaukee, where he is still currently receiving treatment, the press release stated.

50-year-old Joseph Hiller was also taken to OSF St. Francis Hospital, then transported to U.P. Health Systems in Marquette for a fractured back that he sustained while jumping off the roof. He underwent surgery and was released on May 5.

74-year-old Edward Smart was taken to OSF and treated for minor burns. According to Escanaba Public Safety, he was later released.

Escanaba Public Safety thanked two men in the press release, Angel "Chino" Lozada and Delta Inn resident William Hermes for their rescues of tenants. You can read more about Lozada's role on that day



Two people are dead and three others injured after a fire broke out at an Escanaba motel.

According to Escanaba Public Safety, the 911 call came in at 12:40 p.m. that a room was on fire at the Delta Inn Motel on Ludington Street.

Units from Escanaba Public Safety were dispatched to the scene and, upon arrival, flames had already breached through the roof of the two-story structure.

Occupants from the second story of the motel were escaping the fire by climbing on the roof of the adjacent Hiawatha Motel. Bystanders and officers were assisting the occupants to safety.

The west side of the motel was fully engulfed when responding units arrived on scene and a mutual aid request was made for Ford River Township and Escanaba Township Fire Departments.

Officers say high winds made for extreme conditions trying to battle the blaze. Escanaba Public Safety deployed their aerial unit and Escanaba Township Fire Department deployed their platform unit to help battle the second story blaze and protect the adjacent Hiawatha Motel.

It took approximately three hours to bring the fire under control, with roughly three dozen firefighters, and seven fire apparatus units.

Once the fire was completely extinguished and determined to structural sound to enter, Firefighters removed two bodies from the scene.

According to Escanaba Public Safety, one victim was determined to be a 72-year-old male from Escanaba and the second victim being a 17year-old male also from Escanaba.

Both victims resided at the motel. There were multiple occupants that escaped the fire, but three did sustain injuries.

One of the occupants, a 66-year-old male, was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital by Rampart EMS for severe burns and transferred to St. Mary’s Burn Center in Milwaukee.

A second occupant, a 60-year-old male, was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital and transferred to UP Health System Marquette for a fractured spine sustained from jumping to safety.

The last occupant, a 73-year-old male, was transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital for minor burns and released.

The cause of the fire will be investigated by the Michigan State Police – Fire Marshal Division.

Posted by Grace Blair TV6 on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Delta Motel fire on 24th and Ludington

Posted by Grace Blair TV6 on Thursday, April 30, 2020