A 48-year-old painter from the Pittsburgh area was electrocuted while painting a Habitat for Humanity complex last week.
Paul Thompson was working at the facility in New Kensington, Pa., about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday when he somehow came in contact with several high-voltage power lines and suffered cardiac arrest. Rescue workers reported that Mr. Thompson had been using a metal or fiberglass pole that touched the lines.
Reports varied on how the accident occurred. Some witnesses said that Mr. Thompson had been painting an exterior wall at the time, while others said that he had been working on the roof. Still others said that Mr. Thompson and his partner had been leaning out from the roof to spray-paint along the walls near the power lines.
The co-worker reportedly performed CPR on Mr. Thompson for several minutes until paramedics arrived. But neither he nor they were able to revive Mr. Thompson, and he was pronounced dead a short time later at Allegheny Valley Hospital, according to news reports.
Mr. Thompson was in his second day of employment with Modern Painting and Decorating, a family-owned residential painting company based in nearby Springdale, reports said. The company did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Habitat for Humanity rents space in the building for the ReStore, a retail outlet that sells home-improvement and decorating items as a fundraiser for the charity.