Excessive Heat Plays Role In Three Hutchinson Deaths

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Residents were sad to learn that the extreme heat played a role in taking the life of one of their neighbors in the 400 block of Avenue C on Wednesday.

"The wind outside helps but just to be in the hot house with no air circulating is really dangerous," said Michael Tyman, neighbor.

Hutchinson Police said temperatures reached more than 95 degrees inside the 76-year-old man's home. They said the man had a window unit but it was not turned on when officer arrived.

"When we were in there, it was 95 degrees. Just standing in there, I was sweating. By the time we were done looking through the house, I was sweating profusely, so it was extremely hot in the house," said Sgt. Thad Pickard, Hutchinson Police.

This is the third death involving elderly men found inside their Hutchinson homes within a week. A 63-year-old man died on July 16 and a 73-year-old man died July 14. None of them had air conditioning units running when officers arrived.

"They're trying to keep the bills down. However, on something like that, they need to seek some type of way of cooling themselves off," said Pickard.

Officers are encouraging citizens to visit public places that have air conditioning.

"Our house doesn't have any air conditioning, just one fan. My grandma works and I have to come in with her to stay cool," said Kylie Ford, Yoder resident, who was cooling off in the Hutchinson Public Library.

Officers also want to encourage residents to do their part in checking on elderly neighbors.

"My wife checks on them all the time. So, I'm going to have to do more myself," said Tyman.

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