Coroner confirms heat-related death
JANESVILLE An 83-year-old Rock County woman died Thursday of heat exposure after being in a residence with no air conditioning and temperatures inside above 90 degrees, the Rock County Coroner's Office reported.
The woman, a town of Lima resident, likely died from exposure to intense heat inside her un-air conditioned residence on East Godfrey Road as temperatures outside soared above 100 degrees on Thursday, Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach said.
The woman apparently had an underlying heart condition that put her at greater risk of illness or death from exposure to excessive heat, Keach said.
The coroner's office has not released the woman's identity.
An elderly family member of the woman, who also lives at the residence, found the woman Thursday morning and called emergency officials for help, Keach said.
It's not clear exactly when the woman died, but medics responding around noon Thursday reported that she was dead when they arrived, Keach said.
Elderly people with heart or circulation problems are especially likely to die of heat exposure if they're in living spaces with no air conditioning or air circulation for prolonged periods during extreme hot weather, Keach said.
The family member who lived with the woman is now staying elsewhere with family, she said.
Health officials are urging people to watch for signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, which can include weakness, exhaustion, headaches and dizziness.
Local emergency rooms for SSM Healthcare reported treating dozens of people in the area for "heat-related injuries" Wednesday and Thursday, including six people taken to St. Mary's Janesville Hospital and six people taken to Edgerton Hospital.
Authorities have linked another Rock County death last week to extreme heat, Rock County Deputy Coroner Lou Smit said. That death also appeared to be from an underlying health condition, and heat likely contributed to it.
The victim, apparently a woman, was found inside a residence where the temperature inside was 95 degrees, he said. The woman had begun to decompose by the time authorities discovered her.
Another, separate, death reported Thursday afternoon on John Paul Road was not heat related, Milton Police Chief Dan Layber said. It did not appear to be a "violent death."
Layber gave no other details, but he said the coroner's office still was investigating the death Thursday.