‘Like An Oven’- Firefighters Describe Home Where Man Died

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Firefighters say a man's home felt like an oven when they were called out by his family on Sunday to his house at South 52nd and Harmony in Kansas City, Kan.

Unfortunately, by the time they got to him, the 72-year-old man was already dead.

Authorities have not determined the cause of death,  and they do say the man had pre-existing medical conditions, but an autopsy will be performed to determine if he died as a result of the heat.

There were no fans or air conditioning running in his house when family and firefighters arrived. What appeared to be a broken window air-conditioning unit sat in his front yard.

"It's sad because he is an older gentleman, and everybody is so used to seeing him around," said neighbor Jenna Edwards.

"We heard fire trucks and ambulances," she said. "We didn't know what was going on."

The American Red Cross is teaming up with Kansas City Power and Light to try to prevent the dangerous heat conditions that this man may have been in.

They are giving away 500 electric fans to those who qualify.

"The temperatures have been a real challenge for a lot of our communities, especially those who are more vulnerable to the heat," said Red Cross volunteer Joann Woody, who helped give out some fans over the weekend.

To qualify, you must be 65 years or older and live in the Kansas City Metro area.

For more information, call 816-841-5234.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department reported the first two possible heat deaths of the year.

According to the Health Department, one victim was a male born in 1952 while the second apparent heat victim was an infant boy born in 2011.

"We've talked to some folks that had literally nothing else in their homes to help keep them cool," said Woody. "So this has been a godsend to them."

The Red Cross recommends putting cold rags on your wrists and neck to keep your body temperature down.

The Red Cross also reminds everyone to stay in contact with family and friends who may not have ways to cool their homes.

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