UM Worker Falls Through Skylight onto Boiler - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Worker Falls Through Skylight onto Boiler

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

A longtime University of Montana employee is in serious condition at St. Patrick Hospital, after falling through a skylight and landing on a boiler inside the heating plant on campus.

UM officials said Mike Burke, 61, was checking new equipment on the roof this morning before plummeting 15-20 feet through the glass window.

The Missoula Fire Department technical rescue team had Burke safely in an ambulance about an hour after they responded.

UM officials said this was the first time a serious accident has ever happened at the heating plant on campus.

UM Chief Communications Officer, Peggy Kuhr, said Mike Burke is the Chief Engineer and Supervisor at UM's heating plant.

"And he has worked in this capacity for decades," she said.

Kuhr said Burke was checking a flue gas damper on the roof, before he fell through the glass skylight.

"And the plant employees are often up on the roof doing work, so it wasn't unusual for him to be up there," Kuhr added.

"The ironic thing is our rescue team -- our technical rescue team -- has practiced pretty much this exact scenario, in this exact building, almost in this exact location," said Missoula Fire Department Training Officer, Matt Kerns.

Kerns said his 22-person team hoisted Burke -- who was conscious -- into a basket and used rope pulleys to lower him to the ground vertically.

"He was about 35-40 feet in the air, there's lots of piping, it's the facilities plant, so there's steam chases and pipes going everywhere," Burke said.

But, Kerns said the crew's prior exercise at the plant paid off.

"It really expedited the whole process and I think showed the true value of the amount of training we put in," he said.

Kuhr said UM Environmental Health and Risk Management has begun an investigation into the incident.

So far, officials have already determined Burke was not required to where fall protection gear, because he was on a flat surface, and six feet away from the edge of the building.

UM officials said they're only required to report an accident to the U.S. Department of Labor, if it results in death, or if three or more people are injured.

At last check, Burke was still at St. Patrick Hospital in serious condition.

We'll keep you updated on the status of UM's investigation into this incident, and on Burke's health.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • LOOK: Photos Of 'Blood Moon' During Total Lunar Eclipse

    LOOK: Photos Of 'Blood Moon' During Total Lunar Eclipse

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:59:30 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It was a sight to behold! The blood moon lit up the heavens last night. If you slept thru it, no need to worry! We recorded the whole thing for you and many of our Facebook friends and viewers have shared the photos that they captured of the total lunar eclipse last night!
    KHQ.COM - It was a sight to behold! The blood moon lit up the heavens last night. If you slept thru it, no need to worry! We recorded the whole thing for you and many of our Facebook friends and viewers have shared the photos that they captured of the total lunar eclipse last night!
  • WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    WATCH: Cell Phone Video Of Sinking Ferry Released As 270 Are Still Missing

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:21:35 GMT
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Searchers have now put markers on the surface of the water where the South Korean ferry went down. Part of the ship had remained above the surface until today, but now the entire vessel is submerged. They're continuing the effort to find some 270 people who are missing and feared dead.
  • The Grizzly Hurling Team: Introducing Montana To Something New

    The Grizzly Hurling Team: Introducing Montana To Something New

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:48:09 GMT
    Have you ever heard of the sport hurling?  Not curling, but hurling with an "H" If you're like me, you may have had no idea what that is,but the University of Montana has a pretty impressive hurling team
    Hurling is one of the most popular sports in Ireland, but April 19th is when the first ever Hurling game in Montana will be played by the Grizzlies Hurling Team
  • Big Sky Closing For Season Sunday

    Big Sky Closing For Season Sunday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:02:08 GMT
    People have just two days left to ski at the nation's largest ski resort before it closes for the winter season. "It's truly been an epic year, one of the best ever," said Cindy Reiss, skier. Big Sky Resort
    People have just two days left to ski at the nation's largest ski resort before it closes for the winter season.
  • Montana/ Idaho Border: Lookout Pass Closed After Landslide

    Montana/ Idaho Border: Lookout Pass Closed After Landslide

    Sunday, March 30 2014 10:36 PM EDT2014-03-31 02:36:40 GMT
    LOOKOUT PASS, Montana- Lookout Pass near the Idaho/Montana Border is shutdown down following a landslide on I-90. D.O.T. crews are on the scene Sunday evening clearing trying to clear the scene.
    LOOKOUT PASS, Montana- Lookout Pass near the Idaho/Montana Border is shutdown down following a landslide on I-90. D.O.T. crews are on the scene Sunday evening clearing trying to clear the scene.
  • Auctioned Bull Raises Money for Fellow Breeder

    Auctioned Bull Raises Money for Fellow Breeder

    Friday, April 11 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-04-12 00:11:47 GMT
    Thousands of dollars were raised in a matter of seconds for a wounded rancher at the 5-L Red Angus Bull Auction in Sheridan Friday. A total of 300 bulls were sold in a matter of four hours, but one bull
    Thousands of dollars were raised in a matter of seconds for a wounded rancher at the 5-L Red Angus Bull Auction in Sheridan Friday.
  • Griz Lax Gaining Popularity

    Griz Lax Gaining Popularity

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:41 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:41:14 GMT
    The Montana Lacrosse team is preparing for their last three games of the regular season.  They're currently 6-6 and with all three games at home in Washington Grizzly Stadium, they're hoping the playoffs
    The Montana Lacrosse team is preparing for their last three games of the regular season.  They're currently 6-6 and with all three games at home in Washington Grizzly Stadium, they're hoping the playoffs are on the horizon.
  • Our Lady of the Rockies Statue Turned Red After Prank

    Our Lady of the Rockies Statue Turned Red After Prank

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:05:47 GMT
    According to the Butte-Silver Bow County Police Department, the "Our Lady of the Rockies Statue" turned red on Wednesday night after four young adults put cellophane over the white lights.Undersheriff
    According to the Butte-Silver Bow County Police Department, the "Our Lady of the Rockies Statue" turned red on Wednesday night after four young adults put cellophane over the white lights.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.