Seminole, Florida -- It was a home improvement project that deputies say ended in an unfortunate accident when 52-year-old Arben Berberi was killed after a concrete wall collapsed on him.
"I'm completely devastated," said neighbor Kristi Riley who heard the screams for help around 11:30 this morning.
"I could see from his torso up. His arms were up and somebody had been trying to pull him. Another guy was trying to do CPR on him," said Riley.
Riley knew right away Berberi was gone.
"The arm that was out and I was trying to feel for a pulse and he was unresponsive and I couldn't feel anything. I said 'please squeeze my hand if you feel anything, squeeze my hand' and he didn't respond at all."
Firefighters spent several hours trying to dig Berberi's body out breaking through concrete blocks and mounds of dirt. Neighbors say Berberi had been digging a trench at the base of the exterior wall when it collapsed.
"The rear wall of the addition they were working on gave way and fell on top of him," saidSgt. John Miller.
Firefighters said the Pinellas County Building Department and OSHA will be investigating for code violations.
Riley said Berberi worked night and day on remodeling the house on Robin Road.
Berberi and his brother-in-law bought the 55-year-old house in April. Both men of them, along with Berberi's father-in-law, were working on the house at the time of the accident.
"They were trying to do something nice for their family and this happens. It's unfortunate," said Riley.
Neither Berberi's brother-in-law nor his father-in-law was injured. Deputies say that it's a miracle considering the size of the wall and how close they were standing to it when the wall collapsed.