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caption: A man cutting down the trees in this yard was electrocuted on Wednesday after an encounter with an electrical line. He was taken to Harborview in serious condition.
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A man cutting down the trees in this yard was electrocuted on Wednesday after an encounter with an electrical line. He was taken to Harborview in serious condition.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Man electrocuted in tree in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood

A construction worker was in serious condition on Wednesday after being electrocuted while cutting down a tree in Greenwood, at North 87th Street and Phinney Avenue North.

The felled branches somehow came in contact with the power lines, sparking a fire and seriously injuring the worker, who was then stuck in the tree.

Seattle Fire Department crews rescued the man using an aerial ladder. The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.

The worker had started cutting down the tree, along with two other giant pine trees that were in the front yard of a boarded-up, one-story house. The crew was prepping for the demolition of that house, and the one next to it. Five new apartment buildings have gone up on that block in the last few years.

Irena Cooley, who lives across the street, took photos of the worker before he was electrocuted. She was taking photos because she was disappointed to see these trees coming down, and construction has become a familiar site in this corner of the neighborhood.

Cooley came outside after her power went out to see what happened. She said that firefighters arrived immediately and took the man down from the tree. “It was so fast,” she said.

Another neighbor, who did not want to be named, said he heard screaming and yelling around that time. He said the worker was conscious but told rescue workers as he came down from the tree that he could not feel his legs. The man was brought down to a stretcher.

Power went out for roughly 2,000 customers as a result, according to Seattle City Light. An outage map showed that the power was out as far south at Northwest 77th Street, and as far west as 9th Avenue Northwest.