Intruder burned at Renton substation still alive

Intruder burned at Renton substation still alive
A worker arrives to help restore power knocked out when an intruder broke into a substation and cut a copper wire.
SEATTLE - A man who was nearly electrocuted while cutting a high-voltage wire at a substation in Renton is still alive at a Seattle hospital.

Harborview Medical Center says he remains in critical condition Thursday.

Eastside Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Dave McDaniel said the man had second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body when he was found about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Puget Sound Energy spokesman Ray Lane says the man apparently cut through the security fence intending to steal copper wire for sale as scrap.

Once inside the substation, the man cut into a copper-coated steel wire called "copper weld," which the utility uses because it's worth less than copper and less attractive for re-sell, Lane said.

The incident knocked out power to thousands of customers for about three hours on Wednesday.