By Mike Rush
ST. ANN, Mo. (KSDK) - A close friend of Ameren Lineman Dave Burns would never expect his friend to die in an accident in his job as a lineman.
Burns, 50, died Thursday morning when he was repairing a line in St. Ann that was damaged in the previous night's storms.
An Ameren representative says Burns was on a utility pole when he accidentally touched a live line and was electrocuted.
Mike Brown, who also works for Ameren, says he first met Dave Burns when Burns moved to the area from Connecticut in around 1995.
They started working together then and did so for 10 or 15 years. He says Burns loved his job and was fun to be around. He describes Burns as the guy who was always telling jokes in the morning to get everybody going.
But make no mistake, Brown says Burns took his job seriously. Which is why he was so surprised to find out Burns was electrocuted.
"He was a super safe guy. He was always preaching safety to somebody else," said Brown. "If somebody else was doing something he knew they weren't supposed to do he's say just put some gloves on or cover that up or whatever you need to do to make it safe. He was never in a hurry about trying to get the job done. It was always about safety with him, you know."
His friend says Burns leaves behind four kids.
The utility pole was in the backyard of a house in St. Ann. The woman who lives in that house says she considers Burns a hero for taking such risks and giving his life to put people's power back on.
Ameren released the following statement:
"It is with tremendous regret and deep sadness we report an Ameren Missouri co-worker sustained an electrical contact at 10:30 a.m. during storm restoration efforts. He was transported to the hospital; however, he did not survive. The Ameren family of employees offer heartfelt sympathy and support to the family and loved ones of our co-worker."