ESCANABA — Fire killed two people yesterday and injured three at the Delta Inn Motel in Escanaba. A resident on the first floor said he heard an explosion as fire broke out on the second floor of the building. Escanaba Public Safety says residents climbed up onto the roof and escaped over to the adjacent Hiawatha Motel.
Flames fully engulfed the front of the building and broke through the roof when firefighters arrived. High winds fueled the fire. Traffic was re-routed on Ludington Street and U.S. 2 and 41.
One man said he lost everything he owned. Another woman escaped with a cart of clothes. Firefighters removed two bodies after fighting the fire for three hours. They used foam and an aerial unit from Escanaba Public Safety and platform unit from Escanaba Township to battle the second story blaze and save the Hiawatha Motel. A 72-year-old man and 17-year-old male died in the fire. Both lived at the motel.
A 66-year-old man was transported to the St. Mary’s Burn Center in Milwaukee with severe burns. A 60-year-old man was transported to U.P. Health Systems Marquette for a fractured spine as he jumped to safety from the building. A 73-year-old man was treated and released at OSF St. Francis for minor burns.
The fire occurred just after 12:30 p.m. It is being investigated by the State Police Fire Marshall.
Water was reported to be discolored city-wide because of the fire. Water Wastewater Superintendent Jeff Lampi says the water is safe to drink. If the discoloration continues today, Lampi says they will flush the system near the location of the fire.