Three women found dead amid heat at Chicago senior center
CHICAGO (AP) — Three women who were found dead at a senior living facility on Chicago’s North Side amid high heat have been identified, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday.
The women found dead Saturday were 76-year-old Delores McNeely, 72-year-old Gwendolyn Osborne and 68-year-old Janice Reed, the office said.
All three women were found unresponsive over a 12-hour span at the James Sneider Apartments, where residents started complaining of oppressively hot conditions days earlier.
Alderwoman Maria Hadden said she believes that a lack of air conditioning in the building likely caused the deaths.
Paul Roldan, the president and chief executive of the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, said his team was “deeply saddened” by the news of the deaths.
“The safety and security of our residents has always been our highest priority at HHDC,” Roldan said.
Hadden said she went to the building on Thursday and learned no one had air conditioning.
She said a facilities manager told her the company was still running heat to avoid potentially being cited by the city for shutting it off too early. A city ordinance requires rental properties to be at least 68 degrees during overnight hours between Sept. 15 and June 1.
Hadden said the building’s air conditioning system only started effectively circulating throughout the apartments after the three women were found dead.
By Saturday evening, Chicago fire officials said the temperature in the building had decreased and cool air was being blown throughout the facility.