Man Dies After Electrocution at Park Tower Apts

Published 04/10 2014 10:18AM

Updated 04/11 2014 10:07AM

By James Clark, Victoria Price and Joshua Cole Little

LUBBOCK, TX -- 43 year old Lubbock resident Joe Aguirre died Monday morning after an accidental electrocution at the Park Tower Apartments.

Firefighters were called to the building, where Aguirre both worked and lived, at about 9:40 Thursday morning. There were reports of one person injured and a smell of smoke. Firefighters and a representative of Park Tower asked residents to evacuate.

An eyewitness, Anthony Cruz, said Aguirre had apparently suffered a severe electrical shock on the ninth floor.  Officials confirmed that the man who suffered the shock was then later pronounced dead.      

“Boom. That’s all we heard was like loud thunk,” said Cruz. “I heard someone screaming, like, ‘Help me! Help me!’”

“So, I went to the door,” Cruz said. “My mom was like, ‘Don’t open it because what if someone is trying to break in.’”

Cruz peeked under the door, and then did go out.

He said, “When we opened it I just looked to the side and there’s somebody just lying there.”

Cruz said there was smoke coming from Aguirre's body and he was “out of breath.”

Unfortunately, Park Tower has encountered issues with safety in the past. Two years ago, the City of Lubbock filed a petition against the building, citing safety complaints for both occupants and firefighters.

Following the accident, OSHA announced they've opened an investigation into the matter. They'll have up to six months to determine if safety codes were violated, and if so, to issue Park Tower a citation.

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