Roofer who got shocked, fell off roof says he's lucky to be alive

Co-workers rush to Chris Quinlan side, knocking wires off


ROCHERSTER HILLS, Mich. – Twenty-five-year-old Chris Quinlan will be the first to tell you, he's lucky to be alive.

On Tuesday, sheriff's deputies from the Rochester Hills Substation were dispatched to the 2000 block of Simpson Drive, where Quinlan was shocked by a power line while working on a home's roof.

"When you get that feeling of ‘This is the end' and then you're alive the next minute, it's a weird feeling," the independent contractor said.

Deputies discovered Quinlan had been replacing shingles where the power lines and the roof came together. He was on his knees, using a nail gun, when he accidentally made contact with the power lines.

"I was conscious the whole time," said Quinlan. "I couldn't see, all I could see was white. My co-workers told me my mouth was glowing, sparks were coming out of me and I was literally smoking."

One of the other roofers was only a few feet away and kicked Chris several times, attempting to knock him off of the wires, but couldn't break him free.

"He literally had to kick me with both feet, that's when he knocked me off the wires but also knocked me off the roof, but it saved my life," said Quinlan.


Not only did Quinlan survive the electric shock, but the fall too. Upon landing on the ground, he regained consciousness and stood up right away.

Quinlans was transported to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, where he was treated for minor injuries and went home later that night.

"I just thank god, that's all I can say. I had angels looking over me," Quinlan said.

One day after the accident, Quinlan is already back at work, finishing the same job on Simpson Drive.

"I am roofing job Friday, Saturday another one Monday, I had to get this one done," he said. 

Now, Quinlans told Local 4 the wires on top of the roof were not properly covered by DTE Energy. He claims they should have been wrapped in tape so they were not exposed. Quinlan does have a lawyer and is considering suing DTE. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says DTE is not responsible for replacing the tape for wires on roof tops.