CHICAGO (CBS) — An unidentified man apparently trying to steal copper wire in a southwest suburban park was killed Wednesday night when a power line fell on him.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports that Lockport Township fire officials said it appears the man was on a utility pole in Dellwood Park in Lockport when electric wires came down and he caught fire.
“It’s in one of the remote areas of the park. They got down there … and they found the gentleman who was burning on the ground in the vicinity of some downed power lines,” Lockport Township Fire Protection District Chief Dave Skoryi said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Lockport Township Park District Police Chief John Waxweiler said it looks as if the man had been trying to steal copper wire.
Lockport Township Fire Battalion Chief Paul Hertzmann said there was nothing fire crews could do for about an hour because they had to wait for ComEd crews to arrive to shut off power.
“He was on the ground upon arrival. The entire area was energized including surrounding trees and the ground itself, so we couldn’t get right up to the person that was injured until the power was shut off,” Hertzmann said. “The police at first had come upon the person that was down and, from my understanding, one of the officers pulled up in proximity of where the person was at and exited his vehicle and received a, like a tingling, and so got back in the car and backed away.”
Firefighters were able to put out the fire and retrieve the man’s body after ComEd workers cut power to the utility lines.
The Will County Coroner’s office said the victim has not been identified. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.