Man hits power line with lift, suffers life-threatening burns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man was sent to the hospital with serious injuries Wednesday after he was shocked while working outside a Providence home.

According to city fire officials, the man was operating a lift outside a triple-decker on Pearl Street when he hit a power line carrying 7,200 volts.

“To my knowledge, they just had a roof put on the building and they were replacing the molding around the roof line,” said Battalion Chief William Kenyon.

Kenyon said the man in his 50s suffered serious, life-threatening burns. His identity has not been released.

The gutters flew off the side of the home and the third floor caught fire, according to Kenyon.

“When the bucket contacted the primary electrical source, it followed down the aluminum grip edges to the gutters and started the house on fire,” he said. “Pretty heavy damage to the house, electrical is certainly damaged, it blew the exterior lights off the house. Right now the Providence electrical inspector is inside assessing that situation.”

Neighbors told Eyewitness News they heard a loud boom before their power flickered.

“I just heard a big loud bang and like a flash,” recalled Golrined Colon, who lives across the street.

Kenyon said each of the three floors had people living inside, and they are all without a home Wednesday night. The Red Cross said they’re assisting six adult residents and two children with basic needs.

National Grid responded to the scene to shut off the power to the home, but no word yet on whether it’s been restored.

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