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7 more St. Louis deaths heat-related, authorities say

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ST. LOUIS • Seven more deaths have been attributed at least partially to the recent brutal heat wave, St. Louis authorities said today.

The additional deaths bring the total to 10 in St. Louis and 12 in the area.

Among those announced today were:

• Marvin C. Flanigan, 72, of the 3100 block of Nebraska Avenue, who was found dead Sunday morning. His room had no air conditioning and though his wife went to stay with relatives, he refused to leave.

• Henry Lee Lomax, 72, of the 4300 block of Evans Avenue, who was found dead just after noon Saturday. He lived alone and had air conditioning units but chose not to use them.

• Linda Allen, 62, of the 4500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, who was found stricken on Wednesday and died Friday. She did not have an air conditioner.

• Altamesa Dobson, 8, of the 3500 block of Franklin Avenue, who was found dead on Friday morning. She was found in a room without air conditioning but there were units elsewhere in the apartment, authorities said.

• Jeanne M. Marshall, 75, of the 3300 block of Arlington Avenue, who was found Friday morning. There was one window unit inside the home she shared with family.

• Jeanette M. Basch, 76, of the 4400 Wabash Avenue, who was found on Thursday evening. She lived alone. Authorities did not say whether she had air conditioning available or in use.

• Hedwig I. Hanus, 84, of the 3800 block of Marine Avenue, who was found Thursday night in the kitchen of her home. She had an air conditioner but it was unplugged and didn't work correctly when plugged in.

Health authorities said many of the victims suffered from a cognitive disability or mental illness, and some resisted offers of help. 

Authorities are putting an emphasis on reaching out to such people and are asking neighbors and family members to do the same.

"Go to their homes and make sure the air conditioner is on and is working properly," Pamela Walker, director of the St. Louis health department, said in a statement. "It is important to be insistent. They must be in an air conditioned room, even if they don't want to be."

The health worries aren't over, Walker said.

"Even though temperatures have slightly cooled, it will take a few more days for the urban core and its brick structures to cool to a safe temperature," she said.

And this won't be the last heat wave, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said.

"We're not out of the woods yet," he said in a statement. "We are just entering what is typically the hottest part of the summer. We must remain vigilant, take the proper precautions and look out for each other."

Three people died in St. Louis earlier in the heat wave. Sunday, a Troy, Ill., woman was found dead of heat-related illness.

Earlier Monday, St. Louis County authorities announced their first heat death in the heat wave.

Velma Henderson, 72, of Northwoods, was found dead on Friday inside her home in the 7100 block of Winchester Avenue.

Check back for more on this breaking news story.

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