Victim was part of crew renovating apartment
A 33-year-old man who was part of a crew renovating an apartment on Milwaukee's west side was killed Tuesday when he was struck by a refrigerator his co-workers threw from the building, a Milwaukee police spokeswoman said.
Initial reports indicated the refrigerator fell from a fourth-floor porch to the ground, where the man was struck.
The incident occurred about 9:40 a.m. at 805-11 N. 22nd St., police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said. The workers who threw the refrigerator said they yelled down to the ground but didn't hear a response, so they thought the area was clear, she said.
The victim apparently stepped into the path of the refrigerator as it fell, Schwartz said. No one is in custody.
"It appears right now just to be a tragic accident," Schwartz said.
Milwaukee police completed their investigation of the incident, which is under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Schwartz said.
The victim died at the scene. His name has not been released. He worked for Wiegand Enterprises, which manages the building, according to an e-mail from the company's president, Rick Wiegand.
The victim "has been a dedicated and valued member of the Wiegand Enterprises team for many years," Wiegand said in his e-mail. "As a family man with a warm heart and zest for life, we are all heartbroken with his loss."
The refrigerator fell into a narrow gangway between the four-story brick building and a chain-link fence. Police tape blocked off the gangway Tuesday afternoon. A white, full-size refrigerator with a bent door was standing upright in the gangway.