A homeless man who had entered a horse barn on an abandoned ranch about 10 miles east of Juntura this past weekend started a fire to stay warm, ending up causing a fire in which he became a burn victim.
This morning, an official at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, a certified burn unit in Idaho Falls, confirmed that Rudy Daniel Delgado, 35, was being treated in the facility’s intensive care unit and is listed in fair condition.
According to a narrative summary on the Oregon State Police media desk logs from Monday, an employee with the Oregon Department of Transportation made contact with 35-year-old Delgado “who had been burned in a building fire” at about 6 a.m. Saturday morning on Highway 20 near milepost 211.
The ODOT employee reported the incident, rendering aid to Delgado until first responders could arrive.
Vale Fire and Rescue responded, transporting the man to Ontario, where he was picked up by Life Flight to be taken to Saint Alphonsus in Boise.
“The ODOT employee reported the burn victim was a transient passing thru who had entered the outbuilding to escaped the cold,” reads the summary. “The transient started a fire to stay warm, which caught the [building] on fire.”
According to the summary, Vale Fire Department let the fire burn itself out.
Fire Chief Jess Tolman confirmed this in a phone interview on Monday saying the fire was out of the Vale Fire District. He described the address of the fire as in a horse barn on “an old ranch on Highway 10 along a canyon that has been abandoned for a few years.”
As there were no suppression units there, all that could be done was to have dispatch contact the property owner to let them know, he said.