Maintenance worker electrocuted at former Northridge Mall

MILWAUKEE -- A man, 37, was electrocuted at the abandoned former Northridge Mall on Monday, July 22, the Milwaukee County medical examiner said.

According to the medical examiner's report, the man was with three friends when he stuck his hand in a high-voltage transformer.

The medical examiner identified him as Victoriano Diaz.

Those who were with Diaz when it happened said they saw and heard arching, and then saw Diaz shaking before he fell. He told them, "Don't touch me," before rolling up into a fetal position, at which point he stopped breathing. His friends called 911.

The medical examiner's report said the men on scene reported they were contracted to watch the property, and they were wearing vests and hard hats. The report went on to say the men were contracted to weld the doors at the facility. The other workers said they were checking the place out and leaving when they saw the electrical panel open, and Diaz walked over to it and stuck his hand inside.

Officials with Black Spruce Enterprise and Incorporated, the owners of Northridge Mall, confirmed Diaz was a maintenance worker who had been working with the company for about a year, and he had hired three of his friends to help with cleaning.

The report noted the electrical unit with 4,800 volts had been vandalized in the past for copper wiring. It was usually locked with two padlocks and one penta-lock that required a special key. The report said one side of it was closed and locked with two padlocks and the other side was open.

Black Spruce issued this statement:

“Black Spruce is aware of the tragic circumstances which occurred outside Northridge Mall on Monday evening.  We are sorry for the family’s loss and will fully cooperate with authorities.”