ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Officer has confirmed that heat contributed to the deaths of three elderly residents over the weekend.
A 74-year-old woman was found dead in her home in the 400 block of North 4th Street on June 30. Officials said she had working central air conditioning but was not using it.
An 80- year-old man, died on the same day in his second-story bedroom in the 2000 block of East College. He had a window air conditioning unit, but was not using it.
And an 83-year-old woman, was found dead in her living room in the 5900 block of Mimika on July 1. Her apartment had a window unit, but the Medical Examiner’s office said it was not cooling well.
On the other side of the state, Kansas City health officials are investigating the death of a 72-year-old man over the weekend. He apparently had no air conditioners or fans inside his home.
300-400 Heat Related Calls a Day
Meanwhile, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson reports his ambulance crews are making three-to-four hundred calls a day on heat cases.”You get breathing problems. You get overheating problems. Just general sickness type problems,” Jenkerson said, “because the length of this heat, it tends to wear on you.”
The chief says most of the calls are for the elderly with pre-existing conditions aggravated by the heat, but the heat is also affecting the young and able-bodied.
“We’re seeing it in the people who are working outside,” Jenkerson said, “You know, the street department’s working outside in landscaping. They think they can do that job the next day, but they’re still a little weak or tired from the day before. So, they go out there and they start getting dizzy. They’ll pass out.”
Jenkerson spoke with KMOX at an event sponsored by the charity Cool Down St. Louis. Cool Down announced it had received a sizeable gift to help the poor stay cool. Home State Health Plan of Clayton today announced a gift of 25 new air-conditioners and a donation of $20,000 to Cool Down St. Louis.
Residents who do not have an air conditioner, or who need energy assistance, can contact Cool Down St. Louis at 314-241-7668 or the United Way at 211. A list of cooling centers can be found here.