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St. Petersburg man electrocuted while trimming tree

ST. PETERSBURG — George Ball was just helping out a neighbor, authorities say, when he was electrocuted on Wednesday.

Ball was on a metal ladder trimming a neighbor's tree about 2 p.m. when his gas-powered pole saw touched a 7,200-volt power line at 6250 22nd Ave N, authorities said. Ball, 50, was electrocuted instantly.

Progress Energy cut power to the area, authorities say, leaving about 30 homes temporarily without electricity. St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue quickly freed Ball's body from the tree, where it had become lodged, said Lt. Joel Granata.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Ball at the scene but he was pronounced dead at 2:18 p.m.

His death was being investigated by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office.

Progress Energy spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said homeowners need to remember to watch out for power lines when they work in their yards.

"The weather is so nice people are out doing yard work," she said. "But sometimes they forget to watch out for power lines."

She said anyone planning to trim trees can call Progress Energy at 1-800-700-8744 a day in advance to have the power safely and briefly turned off.

St. Petersburg emergency vehicles gather Wednesday afternoon at the scene where a man reportedly was electrocuted as he trimmed a tree for a neighbor.

DIRK SHADD | Times

St. Petersburg emergency vehicles gather Wednesday afternoon at the scene where a man reportedly was electrocuted as he trimmed a tree for a neighbor.

St. Petersburg man electrocuted while trimming tree 03/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 9:28pm]
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