Once-upon-a-time, grandpa was working on a junction box in the basement when he came in contact with the neutral of a multi-wire circuit for the dishwasher/disposal. He had shut the circuit down but because there was no handle tie–the neutral was still energized.
He got such a shock he fell off the ladder and broke his leg—already compromised by long term lead exposure.
There was no way he was going to make it up the stairs, so he thought if he could crawl to the basement bedroom he would be able to get out the window. However, the window was too high off the floor and way too small to fit through. It was not an option.
By now it was getting dark and he was beginning to panic.
The stairs loomed like a mountain in front of him, dark and ominous. There was no light switch to light up the stairs and he might not have been able to figure out a way to turn it on anyway. The missing handrail would also be of no help. So, he began the long painful slide up the stairs dragging his sorry leg behind him.
Fighting all the way, to avoid sliding back down the too steep stairs, he finally got to the top. That is when he realized he left his keys on the basement workbench. He remembered it being a bad idea when he set them down.
Without his keys he could not unlock the keyed deadbolt. It would have been excruciating to reach anyway, but after the stairs he figured he could have managed.
He thought about the back door but calling for help from there would have been useless. It had to be the front door.
He thought about the phone hanging on the kitchen wall 5 feet off the floor, but he had already ruled out being able to reach that.
He lay there listening to himself wheeze, mustering all the common sense he could. He likely later would trade that for good sense instead.
He decided his only option was to break the very large plate glass panel next to the door to call for help.
He lifted the heavy cast iron Cherub door stop and smashed the glass with one painful blow. The non-safety-glass panel shattered into large guillotine shaped pieces that swooshed down slicing off poor grandpa’s hand.
He bled to death right there.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle