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2 more heat-related deaths reported in July, medical examiner says

The latest fatalities bring the total to five for the season.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office reported the first heat-related death of the season in the county on July, 23, 2020.
Two more heat-related deaths were reported in July, 2019, bringing the total to five for the season.
Sun-Times files

Two more heat-related deaths have been reported this month, bringing the total to five so far this summer.

Gary Hempel, a 66-year-old man from Chicago, was found May 5 in the 1000 block of West Addison Street, the Cook County medical examiner’s office announced Saturday. He was pronounced dead July 15 from a cardiovascular disease at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. An autopsy found that heat stroke was a contributing factor in his death.

A week later, Adam Wrona, a 56-year-old Schiller Park man, died on July 21 in the 3600 block of West Palmer Street after a heat-wave that killed two other people, authorities said. An autopsy ruled the cause of death to be hypothermia due to heat stroke, with cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor.

Both deaths were ruled accidents, authorities said.

The first heat-related death of the summer happened July 5, when 87-year-old Leona T. Serafin died in the 2100 block of West Shakespeare Avenue, according to the medical examiner’s office. Serafin died from organic cardiovascular disease with probable heat stress as a contributing factor.

Editor’s note: This article was revised to note that Hempel was from Chicago and was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.