2 injured after ladder falls from roof, entangles in electrical wires

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Two people were taken to the hospital after their ladder fell and became entangled in electrical wires on Thursday, according to officials.

Fire department officials say the initial call was for a structure fire. At least two people were working on the roof when the ladder gave way and became entangled in the wires.

“We found a ladder on the ground, it was entangled in the wires, up the high tension wires, and a couple of patients on the ground,” Stephen MacIntosh, Deputy Chief of the Cranston Fire Department, said.

A portion of Chestnut Hill Avenue was closed off Thursday night due to what officials are calling a “tragic accident.”

Neighbors say they first heard a loud bang before they lost electricity for a short moment.

“I’ve seen the three fellas on top of the roof, they used the ladder in front of the house to get to the roof,” a neighbor who lives nearby said. “It was on the ground and it was sparking, and there was fire, and there were sparks.”

The City Fire Marshal doesn’t know at this time exactly how the ladder got on the ground.

As of early Friday, Cranston Police say the homeowner, identified only as a 29-year-old man, was being treated for life-threatening injuries.   The second victim was in stable condition, police said, but he had suffered severe burns and lost all of his toes.

Police were still working to learn how the two men were related.  Neither victim was identified.

In cases that involve power lines, first responders have to be very careful, and that’s why the power was turned off on the street.

“As much as people want to help, call for help and stand back and protect your self,” MacIntosh said.

MacIntosh said that anytime electricity is involved it’s concerning.

“Electricity, and aluminum is a conductor, and a body is a conductor,” he said.