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A Made-in-Florida Construction Industry Rip-Off


The wire shouldn’t have been “hot.”

But someone forgot to turn off the electrical boxes at the strip mall Joseph Barrs had been hired to help remodel. When the sheet of thin metal mesh that Barrs was holding touched an uncapped electrical wire, the blast of current knocked him backward off a seven-foot scaffold onto the concrete below.

“When my head hit the concrete, I just saw a ball of fire and that’s all I remember,” Barrs said in a recent interview. A Naples police officer who responded to the scene wrote that she found Barrs “lying on the ground, shaking, and drifting in and out of consciousness.” He woke up in a hospital bed at the Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers three hours later, having been taken there by air ambulance.

His ordeal was just beginning.

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