Phoenix fire: Man drowns after trying to change pool light

Posted at 2:41 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 02:02:34-04

A 27-year-old man died after drowning in a pool while trying to change a light.

Phoenix Fire Captain Reda Bigler said the man died Monday after being pulled from the pool near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.

Bigler said in an email, the man was attempting to change out a light in the pool when he was "most likely" shocked. Officials are calling this a drowning, and they're saying the man's injuries were "possibly" caused by electrocution while the man was in the water. 

His wife and three children were attempting to rescue the man from the pool when officers arrived, she said.

His 8-year-old daughter says her dad was in the deep end wearing goggles when he was shocked. She said her step mom tried to get her dad out of the pool, but every time they got close, they were shocked as well.

She says her father sank deeper and deeper until firefighters got him out. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition but later passed away from his injuries. 

Neighbor Shelton Rovner says the victim is a good man and and has been a long time friend. He says the family recently held a party for the young father. Two weeks ago he was nearly killed when a tornado struck near his semi truck as he was driving across country for work.

Phoenix firefighters say this is a job you should leave up to a licensed professional, but for those who prefer to handle pool maintenance themselves, they suggest making sure the circuit breaker is powered off first.

If your home is older than 25-years-old, find out if you have a ground fault interrupter that will shut off and keep you from being electrocuted. Captain Bigler says building codes didn’t require them until recent years.

It’s pricey but you can also purchase a non-contact voltage tester which beeps and flashes when you put it against the pool wall to alert you if there is still energy flowing.

And whenever possible, Captain Bigler says to avoid getting in to the pool for a fix like this, stay on deck and reach over the side whenever possible.