ST. LOUIS – The summer heat may have turned deadly in the city of St. Louis.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson revealed Tuesday that the city has had its first suspected heat-related death of the season.
Chief Jenkerson made the announcement during a news conference where he was warning people about heat dangers and speaking about the many heat-related calls which EMS crews have responded to in recent days.
Medical sources said the suspected victim, an elderly man, was found Sunday evening in a north city home around Partridge Avenue and Riverview Boulevard. The man and a woman were discovered in a second-floor unit of a multi-family building. The man was dead but the woman was alive. She’s still in the hospital.
Chief Jenkerson said it was very hot in the unit and there was no air conditioning.
Jenkerson said the elderly man was found unresponsive and his skin was very hot to the touch.
“Right now, we’re calling it a heat-related death. It’s still being investigated so I don’t have all of the final details on it. But based on what we saw on the scene, to us it was obvious that heat had something to do with it,” he said.
The chief said city EMS crews responded to nearly 200 heat-related calls over the weekend and that 25 to 30 people were taken to hospitals. Many of those calls came from PrideFest activities in Tower Grove Park and downtown.
Jenkerson said intense summer heat has come on quickly and that people need to help each other.
“Check on your relatives, check on the neighbors. Over the holiday weekend, go outside and knock on the door and check on them,” he said.
Jenkerson said other medical issues may have also played a role in the man’s death.
Last year, there were no heat-related deaths in the city of St. Louis. There have been no heat-related deaths so far this year in St. Louis County. There was just one in 2018 – in June.