SI Window Washer Survives 33K Volt Shock

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Genovese said he will keep washing windows.

    Nicholas Genovese sat in his hospital room, his hands and feet still bandaged, and called his survival a "miracle."

    "I am not the best Catholic," the Staten Island window washer admitted.  "But I am going to start going to church again this Sunday."

    Genovese, 58, survived a jolt of thirty-three thousand volts of electricity while cleaning the windows of a Lynbrook office building Saturday.

    He and partner Alan Weinberg, 64, of Long Beach, apparently lost control of their forty feet long cleaning pole in the high winds, according to Lynbrook fire department spokesman Steve Grogan.

    Both window washers were on the sidewalk outside the building, maneuvering the aluminum instrument toward the windows above, when it was blown onto high tension wires near the building.

    "They probably shouldn't have been attempting that in those conditions," Grogan said.

    Both window washers were immediately knocked to the ground.

    "I blacked out for a second," said Genovese. "Then I felt the electricity run through my body."

    Genovese suffered third degree burns on his hands and feet but may have survived, said Grogan, because he did not have a firm grip on the pole.

    Weinberg, however, WAS holding it firmly in both hands and was badly injured.

    "He had no vital signs for nearly twenty minutes," said Grogan.

    Lynbrook volunteer firefighters refused to give up their battle to save him and, with help from Lynbrook and Nassau police officers, finally restored Weinberg's pulse after three jolts from a defibrillator.

    Weinberg remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, according to a spokesperson for Nassau University Medical Center. Both window washers are now being treated there.

    Genovese, a father of three, usually serves as a window washer for NYRA; but was on this job as a way to make extra money this holiday season.

    He promised to be back out there as soon as he is healed; but will forever count his blessings.

    "I am very lucky," Genovese said. "You never expect something like this to happen to you."