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Window washer dies in fall at Father Joe’s building in San Diego’s East Village

A window washer died in a fall from a 14-foot scaffolding while working at a newly opened East Village building operated by Father Joe’s Villages late Wednesday morning, police and fire authorities said.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said the incident was reported shortly after 11:50 a.m. on the corner of 14th and Commercial streets.

The building, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, has been under construction for two years and is adjacent to Father Joe’s Villages’ main campus in downtown San Diego. The 14-story building will provide housing for more than 500 homeless and low-income people, with the first tenants moving in this month.

A San Diego police spokesperson said officers responded to the fatal fall and notified Cal-OSHA, a state agency that investigates work-related fatalities.

A spokesperson for the state agency confirmed that an investigation was underway.

“A fatality was reported to Cal/OSHA. According to the outside source, an employee of Sky High Window Cleaning died in a fall at 11:45 a.m. this morning. Cal/OSHA is investigating,” the statement read.

Father Joe’s Villages and Chelsea Investment Corporation, the developer of the project, issued a joint statement about the incident Wednesday afternoon.

“As partners in the development of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, we are very saddened to learn about the accidental death of a subcontractor employee during the final phase of construction,” the statement read. “From our team, we extend our heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues. As a close-knit community, we understand the impact that this tragedy will have on the family and loved ones, and on the lives of all of our partners involved in this project.”

The $145 million project is the largest residential building ever constructed by Father Joe’s Villages, which provides housing, shelter and a variety of services for San Diego’s homeless population. The 407-unit building includes 270 rooms for people experiencing homelessness and 80 rooms dedicated to veterans who are facing homelessness or who qualify for low-income housing.

An opening ceremony for Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa is scheduled for Feb. 10.



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