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Man, 21, electrocuted in Burbank backyard

Nedal Doleh, 21, was electrocuted by downed power lines in the backyard of a south suburban Burbank home, his family said.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
A 21-year-old man was electrocuted Tuesday afternoon in the backyard of a south suburban Burbank home. A neighbor recorded home video of a live, downed power line there.

Relatives of the victim are now demanding answers on how it could have happened.

Sparks, flames, then a full-blown fire: a portion of the Burbank backyard erupted last night just as the first storm pushed through. It's believed snapped power lines started it. Several people called the fire department.

"We called ComEd, try to do something, the whole neighborhood could be burned up, trees and other stuff. There is no response. They did not respond," said Youssef Doleh, electrocuted man's father.

After a while the fire went out, and late Tuesday morning, 21-year-old Nedal Doleh stopped by to help his family clean up.

"We thought all the time the electricity was off after almost 10 hours. (You, your son, your whole family thought?) Everything was off, totally off because it was sparking right in the night and it stopped," said Youssef Doleh.

The Dolehs say they assumed ComEd workers they saw working on their block that morning had cut the power, but when Nedal Doleh went around the back of the shed Tuesday afternoon, he was electrocuted.

On Tuesday night, a ComEd spokesperson told Eyewitness News: "We are very sorry to learn about this young man's passing and we are working with local authorities to understand the circumstances around this unfortunate incident."

"He cared about a lot of people. He would always tell me: 'you're my little sister, I love you,'" said Rozan Doleh, electrocuted man's sister.

"Just cut it off. It's not that difficult. Fix it later but make sure that people are safe," said Youssef Doleh.

Tuesday night, ComEd did not comment on when its employees responded to the incident, or if any may have told the family it was safe to go in the backyard. In general, the utility reminds customers that they should notify ComEd immediately of downed power lines, always stay away from downed lines, and always assume that items near power lines - such as fences, sheds, and even the ground - could become energized by downed power lines.
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