ACHRNEWS

Heat-Related Deaths Concern Chicago Mayor

July 31, 2001
After declaring a heat advisory and heat warning, Chicago city officials recently opened cooling centers to provide relief to people suffering through a midsummer heat spell. But it was too late to save one recent victim.

In a story by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago firefighters reportedly found an 88-year-old woman unconscious inside her apartment on Monday, May 24 after someone inside the apartment called 911. The unidentified woman's 87-year-old husband was very weak and disoriented and their apartment was extremely hot and without air conditioning, the officials said.

An autopsy Monday showed that 79-year-old Mary Dwyer died of complications from heat-related stress, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office reported.

The victims were being discovered as the City of Chicago issued an energy alert to all department heads as the first stage of a contingency plan for power outages. City officials then urged people to check on their friends and neighbors.

''Help them get to an air conditioned place, whether it's a private residence, a city cooling center, a senior citizens center, or a Park District field house,'' Mayor Richard Daley said during a recent news conference.