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Southland swelters

Bree Shelton lives in the Valley Village apartment building where two elderly residents died over the weekend, apparent victims of the heat wave. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
Sparky the dog takes advantage of a little shade in the back yard of the Fitzgerald home in Midcity Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Rhea Wolkowitz of the Country Club Park area of Los Angeles talks about having to care for her ill husband while coping with the effects of a power failure. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Steve Friedland mops his brow during the second day without electricity at his Country Club Park home. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
The living room is the coolest place in Raymond Fitzgerald’s Midcity home, so his son has been sleeping there during the power failure. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Sheila Friedman manages the Valley Village apartment building where two residents died over the weekend, apparently because of the heat. She described the elderly victims as “a lovely couple,” and noted that they rarely used their air conditioner. (Luis Sinco / LAT)
If the heat is bad in L.A., wouldn’t it be worse in Palm Springs? For John Wagner, the answer is no; he says he’s going to take his three Bichon Frises, including Pushinka, to the desert city, where -- unlike his Country Club Park home -- at least the air conditioners work. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)