A Salvadoran immigrant working here as a window washer was killed yesterday afternoon when he fell from the top of a nine-story apartment building in Northwest Washington, police reported.

The man, identified as Jose Mory Lizama-Nolasco, 24, of 1412 Chapin St. NW, fell 100 feet from the top of the Harvard Towers apartment building at 1845 Harvard St. NW, police said. They said he was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after the 3:20 p.m. accident.

Police said Lizama, who apparently had come here from El Salvador about three months ago, was employed by AAA Services Inc. of Arlington.

Coworkers said Lizama told them that his wife was deported from Houston last week and had returned to El Salvador to be with their two children.

"He was telling his friends now he was going to have to work so much harder to bring her back here," one officer said.

An official with the D.C. Office of Occupational Safety and Health said that a preliminary inspection of Lizama's equipment indicated the fall was caused by human error. It was unclear if he was attached to a safety line, the official said.

He said Lizama was going over the edge of the building and beginning his descent to the level of the ninth floor windows when the accident occurred.

"One of his coworkers said he probably just wasn't thinking," the official said. "[Lizama] told him he was descending, [the coworker] said okay, and the next thing he knew he was on the ground. It appears he might have released the brake mechanism without realizing it."