Local News


A family mourns as extreme heat claims life of a Henderson woman

Townhome was 140 degrees inside
Posted at 12:09 AM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-25 15:26:57-04

The brutally hot weather is taking its toll. The heat is related to at least five deaths since the unrelenting temperatures began punishing the valley. 

Sandra Deanes is one of those victims. She died inside a dangerously hot townhome.

Taron Walker struggles to speak  through her tears as she tells us about the brutal conditions that helped take her mom's life. "It was so hot in here. And there was nothing but hot air coming out of her vents." 

Deanes died last his week inside her home in Henderson, the casualty of extreme heat. "The temperature was 140 degrees," said Walker.

Walker, who lives in Chicago, was getting ready to leave the country for a birthday trip, so she called to check on her mom. "I wasn't getting an answer," Walker said.

That wasn't like her mom, so Walker called police and her cousin to look in on her. "When she got here, she said she found my mom," said Walker. "The cause of death was hypertensive cardiovascular disease brought on excessive environmental stress."

Deanes, who was 69-years-old, suffered a stroke 8 years ago and was diabetic. She had no idea her air conditioner was broken as the temperature soared.

Dr. Paul Chestovich, a trauma and burn surgeon at University Medical Center, said extreme heat can be disorienting and deadly. "You can overheat and as you get hotter. You become more and more confused. You may not realize how hot you are getting. It can kill you. It absolutely, can be dangerous,” he said.

Walker knows that all too well. "i just wasn't ready for her to go. It hurts really bad. There is nothing that can take the place of a mom, ever," walker said.

Walker wants to know why no one thought to check on her mom sooner.

Dr. Chestovich said the very young and the elderly are at special risk.

He said it is critical to drink lots of water and  make sure  your air conditioner is working.

The doctor also recommends checking on your family members and your neighbors.