Electrocution in Takoma Park

A man was electrocuted and set on fire when an aluminum ladder he was moving touched a high power line Saturday morning in Takoma Park.

When a Takoma Park Police officer arrived in response to a call, he found Orlando Hernandez, engulfed in flames and in contact with the ladder, which was charged by the High Voltage primary power line, carrying 7,620 volts of electricity.

Fire and Rescue arrived immediately on the scene, but were unable to intervene because Hernandez and the area surrounding him were still being charged by the power line.

Pepco was immediately called to shut down the power feed in the area.

Once a sufficient amount of the ladder had melted away, contact with the electricity was broken and Fire and Rescue were able to extinguish the fire and the affected area.

Hernandez, 48, of Hyattsville, immediately succumbed to his injuries from the electrocution and fire, police say.

A preliminary investigation and interviews revealed that Hernandez was hired by the homeowners to trim a tree located on the property.

After trimming the tree and removing some of the wood pieces, Hernandez attempted to take down the ladder that was being used. While moving the ladder, it made contact with the High Voltage Primary Field phase of the power line.

Montgomery County Fire Spokesperson Captain Oscar Garcia says it happened around 9:20 a.m. in the 7400 block of Jackson Avenue near Lincoln Avenue.