Maricopa County authorities are urging the public to check in on their elderly neighbors after two Fountain Hills women died last week in suspected heat-related incidents.
Thelma Calhoun, 86, died June 25 in her home with an AC unit that was not functioning despite recent service, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The temperature inside the woman's home was reportedly 99 degrees. MCSO said the woman, who suffered from dementia and poor eyesight, lived alone.
Lorraine Minneci, 90, was found dead June 30 in her home. Her air conditioning unit was set on "high" but when deputies checked it, the unit was blowing hot air.
This week is expected to bring more temperatures of 110 degrees or more, so it's as important as ever to check in on neighbors and be sure your air conditioner is working appropriately.
Last year's 130 heat deaths in Maricopa County were the most the county has seen since it started tracking data, according to Maricopa County Medical Director Rebecca Sunenshine.
Just last week, the county's department of public health announced it was investigating heat as a possible cause in 12 deaths in recent days.