Copper wire thief electrocuted

(KOIN) – Deputies say the body of a man who attempted to steal copper wire from an abandoned plywood mill in the Linn County town of Lyons was found Tuesday afternoon after he was allegedly electrocuted.

The victim was identified Thursday as 36-year-old Dustin Joe Harris of Lyons.

On Tuesday afternoon, deputies responded to a reported fire at the former Young & Morgan Mill, which is currently operated by Hood Lumber.

That morning, employees who were removing equipment from the mill, which had not been operational for some time, smelled a slight odor of smoke. They looked around, but found no evidence of a fire. However, a few hours later, they saw burning embers and located a small fire on the second story of the building, the sheriff’s office reports. Lyons Fire Department crews responded and extinguished the fire, in the process finding Harris’ burned body.

Sheriff’s office investigators determined that earlier that morning, Harris broke into the building to steal copper wire from a 480-volt, 3 phase electrical panel board when he was electrocuted.

His body was found 16 feet from the panel. An autopsy determined he died in an explosion.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and Oregon State Police assisted in the investigation.

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