saw this follow up in the paper today,
Injured Plainfield electrician dies
Ollie Johnson severely burned last week while replacing circuit breaker.
By PETER N. SPENCER
PLAINFIELD -- A 69-year-old electrician died early Saturday morning after suffering third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body in a fuse box explosion at Plainfield High School last weekend.
Ollie Johnson of Scotch Plains, a longtime employee of the Plainfield school system and a pastor of the Progressive Baptist Church in Rahway, died at 1:20 a.m in the burn unit of St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston due to complications from burns he suffered March 5, Plainfield safety Director Jiles H. Ship said.
Johnson, who also suffered lung damage from severe smoke inhalation, was placed in a morphine-induced coma for the past week, said his daughter, Lisa Johnson, 36.
He was taken off the respirator a few days ago, and doctors had hoped to perform the multiple skin grafts and operations he would have needed to recover from the severe burns.
The family had not made any funeral arrangements as of Saturday night, his daughter said.
Plainfield High School was left without electricity after the accident and had been closed for the past week. School officials expect to re-open the high school Monday, school board President Sharon Robinson-Briggs said.
The school also plans to hold a memorial service for Johnson soon, she said.
"We are deeply, deeply saddened at the news of his death," Robinson-Briggs said.
"He was a fixture here," she said of the more than 20-year employee. "He always had a smile on his face. ... Everyone loved Rev. Johnson, and I'm sure they would want to come out and remember him."
Johnson was trying to replace a 440-volt, high-capacity circuit breaker near the first-floor boiler room at around 9:15 a.m. when the breaker contacted another piece of metal, sparking a fireball that enveloped his body, Plainfield fire Chief Cecil Allen said.
Two school maintenance workers, who were not identified by police, came to Johnson's aid and put out the fire, Allen said. Both workers were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Born and raised in Raleigh, N.C., Johnson moved to Plainfield more than 30 years ago. His wife, June Johnson, worked as a human resources specialist with the Plainfield School District before retiring a few years ago.
His daughter called him an "extremely dedicated worker" and a devoted minister at Progressive Baptist Church, where he served as deacon for the last nine years. Deacons had planned to celebrate Johnson's 10-year anniversary as the church's spiritual leader in June.
Johnson also planned to retire in April, his daughter said -- just in time to perform her wedding ceremony.
from the Courier News website www.c-n.com