Illinois Maintenance Worker Suffocates to Death Installing A Sign At Shopping Center


Geneva, IL( - A construction worker died Feb. 3 while attempting to install a tower sign at Geneva Commons, 602 Commons Drive.

The Geneva Fire Department responded at 11:48 a.m. for a reported rescue from the central bell tower at the open air shopping center located off Randall Road on Geneva’s west side. Firefighters found two construction workers at the top of the bell tower, one conscious and the other unconscious and unresponsive. After initial contact with the construction crew, paramedics on the scene ascertained the unresponsive worker had died.

The other construction worker in the bell tower was assisted by firefighters and was able to walk down a fire department aerial ladder on his own power.

Firefighters then conducted an elevated recovery of the victim. The recovery operation took about three hours. 

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell identified the deceased man as Donald J. Tentler, 47, of the 600 block of South Seventh Street, West Dundee. A full autopsy is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 6, and a preliminary cause and manner of death will be disseminated later that day. Coroner Russell asks people to please keep the family of Mr. Tentler in your thoughts and prayers.

No other injuries were reported at Geneva Commons.

The incident remains under investigation by the Geneva Police Department, Kane County Coroner’s Office as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. 

Fire agencies assisting Geneva at the scene included St. Charles, West Chicago and Batavia. Fermilab firefighters filled in at Geneva’s fire station during the incident.


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