Heat wave claims a life in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) - King County officials say a 66-year-old Seattle man is the first person to die because of the heat wave.

The King County Medical Examiner's office says heart disease was a contributing factor in the death Wednesday of Allen J. Paul.

King County health officer Dr. David Fleming says it's possible the state may see additional deaths before the heat wave ends.

"We know that heat puts additional stress on people with underlying chronic conditions, just like the flu and other infectious diseases," Fleming said. "People with underlying conditions like heart disease need to take it easy, and all of us need to check on frail family, friends and neighbors."

Seattle temperatures have hovered above 85 degrees for six consecutive days, peaking at 103 on Wednesday.

A man in his 50s died Wednesday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma of a heat-related illness, said Franciscan Health System spokesman Gale Robinette. The Pierce County Medical Examiners office was still investigating the cause of the man's death on Thursday.

He was the hospital's only heat-related patient Wednesday, but five people were brought to the hospital because of the heat on Tuesday and three more on Thursday but nothing was life threatening, he said.

State Health Department spokesman Donn Moyer said Thursday afternoon he hadn't been notified of any other heat-related deaths in Washington. He said he would only hear of heat-related deaths if a county medical examiner determined heat was a factor.