ARCADIA — A 31-year-old tree trimmer died after apparently being electrocuted and falling from a palm tree Saturday, authorities said.
The name of the worker was not released pending positive identification and notification of his family members, according to Arcadia police and fire officials.
The incident was reported just before 11 a.m. in the 1400 block of Orlando Drive, according to Arcadia Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Stogner.
“Upon arrival, firefighters witnessed a palm tree fire with a tree trimmer, who appeared to have been electrocuted, harnessed approximately 20 feet up in the blazing tree,” Stogner said in a written statement.
“Within moments of arrival, the fire burned through the harness and the tree trimmer fell to the ground,” she said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters extinguished a small spot fire that ignited in an adjacent backyard because of the incident, which also caused power lines to arc in the area, officials said.
Authorities shut down power to the block as the investigation continued Saturday afternoon.
No foul play was initially suspected, Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson said.
In addition to the Arcadia Police Department, Southern California Edison and the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety are also investigating the fatal mishap.
Saturday’s incident was the second time a worker died while trimming a palm tree in the San Gabriel Valley in the past two months.
Roberto Garcia, 24, of Glendora died June 9 after a group of fronds fell on him as he worked high up in a palm tree in the 200 block of West Bennett Avenue in Glendora, apparently crushing or suffocating him, Glendora police and fire officials said at the time.
Roque Valdez, 48, of Monrovia was also killed while trimming a tree in the 2100 block of South Goodall Avenue in Duarte on April 19, 2011.
In that case, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide investigators, Valdez was fatally jolted after a large branch he had cut struck power line, causing the line to bounce back in his direction and electrocute him.