Burning body found after man electrocuted by live wire in Detroit alley

Police find man's body engulfed in flames

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - A man's body was found burning in an alley Friday after police said he was electrocuted while walking in an alley on Detroit's east side.

Police said they received a call around 8:30 a.m. that there was a body on fire in an alley off of the 7500 block of Dobel Street.

Police arrived and found a man on the ground engulfed in flames. A live electrical wire was wrapped around his body. The man was burned beyond recognition. Police are working to identify him. 

"His leg was on fire," Jimmy Robertson said. Robertson discovered the body when he saw smoke behind his garage. 

Officials originally said the man was trying to execute an illegal DTE Energy hookup when he was electrocuted. Police have since said the man had no tools and stepped on the wire by accident.

He is believed to be in his 40s or 50s.

Detroit arson investigators are trying to figure out what happened. Right now homicide investigators are calling this a tragic accident. 

DTE Energy released the following statement:

"DTE Energy has confirmed that an individual walking through an alley on the east side of Detroit this morning died after coming into contact with a power line that had recently fallen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s family and friends. We are working with local authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident. This is a sad reminder of the importance of staying at least 20 feet away from any downed wire. Always assume that it is live and call DTE, or use DTE’s mobile app, to report that it is down."

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