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This article was published 6/6/2012 (1817 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A window washer is lucky to be alive after falling eight storeys and smashing through a glass solarium, said a witness who saw the man minutes after the workplace incident Wednesday.
The window cleaner is 27-year-old Chris Piper.
Piper had been working with his uncle, an experienced window washer, at the site when the fall occurred.
Patricia St. Godard, with Clean A Service, said Piper was due to have knee surgery. She said Piper had a safety net and a safety harness when the fall happened. She said she was very grateful Piper survived the fall.
The company is in its 25th year and hasn’t had a similar incident, she said.
Piper has been upgraded to stable condition after being taken to hospital Wednesday after the fall from Cambridge Gardens at 850 Cambridge Street.
A statement was released by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Thursday afternoon confirming he was in stable condition.
"He is in good spirits and thanks everyone for their concern," said the statement.
"He does not want to speak with media at this time and has asked that his privacy and that of his family please be respected."
James Warren said he was leaving his grandmother's apartment when he saw Piper inside the building shortly after the fall.
Emergency crews had yet to respond to the scene.
"He was covered in blood and glass. He was awake and he was sitting up but he was obviously in shock," Warren said. "His co-worker said he'd crushed a leg. He was bleeding profusely from the head and mouth."
Warren said Piper just missed being impaled on a picket fence around the plants in the solarium by the foyer.
"If you were inside, you would have seen the picket fence and he probably missed it by half a foot. He's lucky to be alive."
The worker was part of a three-man crew, and one of the other men had already called 911 when Warren arrived.
"I moved my car to make room for the ambulance and the firemen and the police," Warren said.
The solarium that broke Piper's fall juts out about a metre from one small portion of the front of the block.
One resident said tenants had recently received a notice from building managers that window washers would be at work outside their apartments.
"I was happy when we got the letters they were washing the windows, but to hear something like this? That's sad," she said.
Jim St. Godard, owner of Class A Service said he wasn’t sure how long the window washer would be off work.
"He had no broken bones," said St. Godard. "We feel for him and his family."
St. Godard said he was "very concerned" by what had happened.
"We will be looking into the situation with Workplace Safety and Health," said St. Godard.
Workplace Safety and Health officials are investigating the incident.
-- with files from Gabrielle Giroday