Worker electrocuted in Providence, suffers life-threatening burns

By News Staff

A man has been sent to the hospital with life threatening injuries after he was electrocuted while working in Providence Wednesday afternoon.

The Fire Chief says the man, a worker in his mid-50’s, was operating a lift at 146 Pearl Street when he struck a life power line and was electrocuted, causing the triple-decker home to catch fire. The man was trying to replace molding around the roof of the building when he was shocked. Witnesses say he collapsed on the lift platform.

The man was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with severe burns and life-threatening injuries.

"Very serious, very serious burns. Definitely life-threatening. He was transported immediately to Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Center," said Battalion Fire Chief William Kenyon.

Kenyon also warned of the dangers working too close to power lines, indicating that the worker may have got too close. 

"We must stay ten feet away from any power lines," he said.

Witnesses say they heard three loud bangs before the house caught fire.

"The side of his face was reddish and blackish, like he got burned," says a witness, who wished to remain anonymous. "He started shaking and two more mini explosions happened and that’s when the fire started and spread quickly."

National Grid responded, cutting the power to the area.

Red Cross is assisting three families–six adults and two children–that lived in the home.

© WLNE-TV 2015