Window washer who fell from Boston high-rise building identified, remembered as a ‘great person’

BOSTON — Police have launched an investigation after a person fell to their death from a high-rise building in Boston’s Financial District on Monday morning, officials said.

The fatal fall happened at 100 Summer Street just before 8 a.m., according to the Boston Police Department.

A Boston 25 viewer who works in the building at 100 Summer Street said that it appears a window washer is the one who fell to his death.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office has identified the victim as 40-year-old Nicholas Marks of East Weymouth.

The victim fell “an unknown number of stories,” police told Boston 25 News.

Video from the scene showed multiple police cruisers, yellow tape blocking off the area, and a detective taking photographs.

“I’ve known him for 18 years,” Gerardo Ortiz, a window washer and friend of the victim, said. “We wake up every morning to go to work and we don’t know what’s going to happen that day,”

For hours, police recovered evidence — including a shoe and a shattered piece of plastic safety equipment. The victim’s Bosun chair landed not far from his body.

“You follow all the safety procedures and nothing will happen,” said Ortiz. “You never know what could have happened. The equipment failed. It’s a lot of weight on the ropes.”

But Ortiz, who works for a different window washing company than the victim, explained that window washers rely on a couple of ropes for safety so that if one fails, they can still hang on with one — until help arrives. Such was the case in Brookline last May when a window washer was rescued from a 12-story building. In April 2022, Boston firefighters rescued two window washers dangling from the 40th floor of 100 Sudbury Street.

In fact, both accidents and fatalities in the window-washing world are relatively rare. OSHA reported 28 incidents over the last five years — eleven of those resulting in fatalities — including the October 2022 death of a window washer at the JFK Library. But over that five-year period, window washers spent millions of hours on the job.

It appears the window washer lost Monday morning worked for SkySafety, a firm out of Boston. Two of what appeared to be co-workers arrived at the scene hours after the accident. “Two beautiful children and he’s going to be missed greatly,” one said, without giving his name. “Great person... great person. That’s it. That’s all I got to say.”

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Marks’s family and friends at this tragic time,” Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said.

There were no additional details immediately available.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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