Heat Wave Blamed for at Least 7 Deaths

Uncomfortable for many, this week's oppressive heat turned deadly for at least seven people in the Chicago area.

Family members still find themselves in a daze following the death of 58-year-old Tomas Garay, who suffered a heat stroke on Thursday.

"People don't take the heat serious. You need to carry water, you need to drink water." said Joselinda De Leon, Garay's wife and mother to their 4-year-old daughter.

Garay collapsed in an alley on the 2700 block of West Division Street after returning home from a trip to the corner store. Doctors said his body temperature had reached 109.5 degrees.

While most of the heat-related deaths happened to older people, one Pilsen 18-year-old also succumbed to the heat.

Cesar Rodriguez died on Thursday after reportedly biking, running, and spending time outdoors with his family and friends.

"He had his whole life in front of him, and it's a shame that he's no longer here with us," said Armando Vargas, landlord and neighbor to Rodriguez and his family.

Christine Snell, 86, died at her home on the 10000 block of South Rhodes on Wednesday, where she had been living without an air conditioner after it was stolen earlier this year. Snell suffered from cardiovascular disease, but the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said heat stress was a secondary cause of death.

Lacy Clemente, 60, of the 6500 block of South Ellis, was discovered dead at her home by the Chicago Fire Department during a well-being check. The woman had air conditioning in her house but did not have it in her bedroom where she was found.

Daisy Davis, 87, of the 6600 block of South Carpenter Street, died of heart disease with secondary causes of dementia and heat stress.

Elizabeth Childs, 87, of the 200 block of West 155th Street in Calumet City, also died from heat-related causes, officials said.

Haywood McCoy, 84, and Greg Wolf, 47, both died in incidents where heat stress was deemed by officials to be the secondary cause of death.

McCoy, of the 1400 block of South Pulaski Road, died of heart disease at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after overheating in his home. Wolf, of the 1300 block of South Kildare Avenue, died of coronary atherosclerosis and was pronounced dead at his home at 2:05 p.m. Thursday, according to a report by Fox Chicago.

Tomas Garay
Cesar Rodriguez
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