Electrocution kills worker in apartment
Published Tue, Jan 8, 2002, By CHRIS BENDER, Gazette staff writer
The maintenance director at the Lady's Pointe II Apartments was electrocuted Monday afternoon while he was working on a water heater, according to Lt. Rick Krob of the Burton Fire District. Robert L. VonFossen, 61, of Beaufort, died of electrocution and was pronounced dead at Beaufort Memorial Hospital at 4:26 p.m., said Beaufort County Coroner Curt Copeland. Krob said emergency units were dispatched at 3:30 p.m. and arrived within a few minutes. He said firefighters did CPR on the scene, but could not resuscitate VonFossen. VonFossen was taken to BMH by Beaufort County EMS. VonFossen was working in Ken Jackson's apartment, who was there at the time. Jackson said VonFossen had come over a little after 3 p.m. "He was working on the hot water heater," Jackson said. "I didn't hear anything when it happened." Jackson said he didn't see it happen. He said he'd offered VonFossen a cup of coffee because it was getting cold in the apartment. "When he didn't respond, I knew something was wrong," Jackson said. "I pulled him away from the unit and called EMS." Troy Glover, Jackson's neighbor, said he came home from work Monday evening to find VonFossen's white Chevrolet Blazer parked in his parking spot. "I didn't think much of it at the time," Glover said. "My neighbor came over and told me what happened later." Glover said he didn't know VonFossen that well, but had seen him around the apartment complex working on various projects. "He was a diligent worker," Glover said. "He always went above and beyond what was required of the job." Stephen G. Jones and Edna L. Jones, who live in Lady's Pointe Apartments, said VonFossen was a kind and friendly man, even though they knew him only as "Bob." Stephen was at home Monday afternoon when a fire truck arrived at the main office near his apartment. "I didn't think much about it at the time," he said. In fact, he said he never would have guessed it had anything to do with VonFossen. Stephen said VonFossen had been by his apartment Monday morning to fix a light in the kitchen. Though the couple only called VonFossen on occasion for repairs, Edna said he was at the complex working every day. "Mostly we talked to him every day," she said. "He'd pick up trash around the complex." The couple said VonFossen worked hard to keep the complex neat and clean. Stephen said he had been on the job only a few months, but really seemed to enjoy the work. "He was just a good person," Stephen said. "If you wanted a person who was a good friend, he was that person."