Local News Spotlight

Heat suspected in two deaths

Updated: 2012-07-03T00:44:47Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Authorities on Monday were trying to determine whether two weekend deaths were heat-related.

In Kansas City, the body of a 63-year-old homeless man was found Saturday inside a mobile home where the temperature was more than 115 degrees.

The home sits on a vacant lot in the 1000 block of East First Street in an industrial area south of Berkley Riverfront Park. Its air conditioning unit was not working properly and blew only hot air, police said.

A man who works at a business nearby said he had known the victim for 20 years and helped him and other homeless people with food and clothing. The man said he took the victim to breakfast Saturday after the victim cleaned a parking lot for him and the victim seemed to be fine. But later the victim didn’t look well, according to a homeless advocate who visited him Saturday afternoon.

The advocate called the man who had taken the victim to breakfast and asked him to check on the victim. When the man couldn’t reach the victim by phone, he asked firefighters to check on the victim about 5:30 p.m.

Firefighters found the victim on his back just inside the door of the mobile home, according to police reports. Police were awaiting autopsy results.

In Kansas City, Kan., authorities were investigating after the body of a 72-year-old man was found Sunday afternoon in his home. There were no air conditioners or fans inside the residence in the 2500 block of South 52nd Street, fire officials said, but the man also reportedly had medical problems.

| Christine Vendel, cvendel@kcstar.com

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