The cause of the fire at the Delta Inn Motel in Escanaba two weeks ago has been ruled as undetermined but Escanaba Public Safety says smoking and a portable oxygen device may have contributed to the cause.
Listen to Craig Woerpel's full newscast
The fire killed two people and injured three.
Killed were Daniel Lehman, 72, and Hunter Gauthier, 17, both residents at the Delta Inn Motel.
The fire started in room 107. Capt. Darrin Hunter says William Hermes pulled a person from the room just before it became fully engulfed in flames.
Public Safety credits Angel “Chino” Lozada with saving lives at the start of the fire. He and his wife were driving by the motel when they notice black smoke coming from a lower level room. He stopped and went door to door to get people out. Flames roared above one room as he helped a tenant out. He also helped those trapped on the roof get to safety.
Joseph Hiller helped Donald Balthazore, 66, to safety on the roof. Balthazore was air lifted to St. Mary’s Burn Center in Milwaukee with burns over 25 percent of his body. Hiller, 50, fractured his back when jumping from the roof. He underwent surgery at U.P. Health System Marquette.
Edward Smart, 74, was treated for minor burns at OSF St. Francis Hospital.
The fire started at 12:40 p.m. on April 30.