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Six deaths linked to Bay Area heat wave

Six deaths linked to Bay Area heat wave
The National Weather Service had issued an excessive heat warning for much of California over Labor Day weekend, including the Bay Area. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Six people died from heat-related illnesses amid a record-breaking hot spell that roasted the Bay Area over the Labor Day weekend, officials say.

Those who died were seniors, mostly in their late 70s, 80s and 90s, and nearly all were found in their Bay Area homes, according to coroner's officials in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

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"Advanced age groups living independently within the city are the most vulnerable," Christopher Wirowek, a spokesman for San Francisco's medical examiner's office, said in a statement. "The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recommends well-being checks and frequent contact to ensure friends, family, and neighbors are healthy and not in need of further assistance."

Robert Foucrault, the coroner for San Mateo County, said three of the victims died from shock because of heat stroke. They were identified as Patrick Henry, 90, of Pacifica; Ernesto Demesa, 79, of Daly City; and Loraine Christiansen, 95, of Millbrae.

That weekend, the National Weather Service had issued an excessive heat warning for much of California, including the Bay Area.

In downtown San Francisco, temperatures reached a staggering 106 degrees on Sept. 1, setting a record for the area.

The sweltering heat also put a strain on the state's power grid, intermittently knocking out electricity to thousands.

The heat wave was part of the state's hottest summer on record, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said.

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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