Cook County authorities say the deaths of six people since Wednesday are linked to the heat.
On Thursday, the medical examiner's office reported that two men, one from Lincoln Square and the other from Maywood, were the first deaths in the county to be linked to the hot weather this summer. On Friday, four more deaths were added to the list.
As of early Saturday morning, officials at the Cook County medical examiner's office were investigating whether heat played a role in at least 10 additional deaths.
The four victims added to the list Friday were:
• Carmen Mercado, 81, was found unresponsive Thursday by her daughter in her apartment in the 2000 block of West Superior Street. The apartment had no air conditioning and the fan was not on, a neighbor said. She was pronounced on the scene at 1 p.m. Heart disease was listed as a primary cause of death, with heat stress as a contributing factor.
• Pat Wong, 91, was found dead Thursday in the 4200 block of North Winchester Avenue. She was pronounced on the scene at 7:30 p.m. The primary cause of death was heart disease, and secondary causes were diabetes and heat stress.
• Frank Proczek, 58, was found unresponsive Thursday in the 5000 block of South Western Avenue. He was pronounced dead at 8:10 p.m. at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Heart disease was the primary cause of death, and chronic alcoholism and heat stress were listed as secondary causes.
• Riley Kimble, 59, was found dead on Thursday in the 1800 block of West Jackson Boulevard. He was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. Thursday at the medical examiner's office. Heart disease was listed as a primary cause of death, and heat stress as a secondary cause.
Autopsies on Thursday found that heat was a factor in the deaths of two men.
Jon McCullough, 48, of the 2300 block of West Ainslie Street, was pronounced dead at 1:57 a.m. Thursday. The autopsy determined that the primary cause of death was a dilated cardiopathy, a heart condition. The secondary causes were obesity and heat stress.
Eugene A. Burns, 55, of Maywood, died of heart disease, but the autopsy listed obesity and heat stress as contributing causes. Burns was pronounced dead at 8 p.m. on July 4, at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, officials said.
A man who identified himself only as Burns' son believes his father did not die of heat-related causes, saying his father had a history of heart trouble.
"Yeah, unfortunately he had other ailments. It wasn't the heat - my father had been sick for a while," the man said when reached via a cell phone number linked to Burns. "We'd rather not talk about it. We'e just trying to get through it as a family. Thanks for your concern."
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