August 24, 2011

Six Tarrant deaths blamed on heat this year

Today's high temperature is expected to be 107 degrees.

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A Fort Worth man has been identified as the sixth heat-related death in Tarrant County this year.

Gilbert Giles, 63, died at 2:26 p.m. Saturday in the emergency room of a Burleson hospital. His cause of death is reported as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and heat exhaustion.

Temperatures that day reached a record 107 degrees.

On Wednesday, temperatures reached a record 106, breaking the mark of 104 set in 2006 , 1952, 1924 and 1899. It was the 58th triple-digit high this year.

The forecast calls for triple-digit temperatures to continue through Monday -- it's expected to be 106 today -- but the mercury might stay below 100 on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Jessie Moore, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday night, Arlington got a sprinkling of rain just before 7 p.m., meteorologist Daniel Huckaby said. He credited a complex of storms that moved from Missouri to Arkansas to East Texas and spawned "a couple cells that got into the Metroplex." Most Tarrant County residents saw only "blowing dust and winds up to 40 mph," he said.

Other heat-related deaths in Tarrant County include:

June 4: Murrell Beasley, 52, of Fort Worth was found dead in a vehicle in the 3600 block of Donalee Street. Beasley had underlying health issues, but the cause of death was ruled external hyperthermia.

Aug. 2: Filiberto Gorostieta-Vences, 32, died at his Fort Worth home. His cause of death is listed as acute ethanol intoxication with hyperthermia and liver disease listed as factors.

Aug. 7: Janet Locklin, 72, collapsed on the driveway near her car while doing chores outside her east Fort Worth home. The cause of death was ruled a heatstroke.

Aug. 10: Thomas Harison, 60, of Euless was found dead in his vehicle in a Walmart parking lot in Bedford. His cause of death was ruled atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with heat exhaustion.

Aug. 18: Clifford Joiner, 75, of Fort Worth died at a Fort Worth hospital. His cause of death was renal failure with heat as a factor.

Heat exposure is also a factor in deaths in surrounding counties, with 16 in Dallas County and single deaths in Denton, Parker and Johnson counties.

Susan McFarland, 817-390-7684

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