Senior center copes with death and no air conditioning
By: Erica Byfield
By: Erica Byfield
Paducah, KY - An 89-year-old woman died Monday night in a Paducah high rise that was suffering from air conditioning problems.
The McCracken County coroner's office said Dorothy Farris died at the "Jackson House" between 10 p.m. and midnight on Sunday.
Officials with the Jackson House ordered the facility evacuated Monday evening, with residents being transferred to a local hotel until further notice.
Police said the temperature in Farris' fifth-floor residence was between 85 and 91 degrees when her body was discovered Monday.
Officials said they're not sure if Farris' death was heat related.
Her body has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Louisville to determine the cause of death.
Deputy coroner Jerry Beyer said Farris was suffering from several medical problems at the time of her death.
The air conditioning unit at Jackson House went out on Friday.
"We've got fans but they don't help," said John Smith.
"It's just basically miserable," said Lana Orr.
For the residents of the Jackson House in Paducah, dealing with the heat's one thing and coping with a lack of air conditioning is a whole other story.
"I walked into my room and I air hit me and I walked back down and I told the lady you're going to have to call me an ambulance or a cab," Smith told a front desk worker.
John smith's not the only resident checking out, about one hundred more headed to local hotels and homes of family members.
So, what's the problem?
"We lost some ceramic insulates on the motor, single phased out. All the parts are ordered and everything should be here in the morning," said Maintenance Supervisor Gray Thompson.
Until then, two floors do have air conditioning, the basement where staff laid out about 50 cots and the 1st floor lobby.
"It's basically nice down in the lobby, but when you get on the elevator that's when you start feeling it," said Orr.
I went to the 12th floor to Emma Well's sauna like apartment, stepping inside I could feel the thick sticky air.
"I didn't want to go, I love this place," said Wells.
She's resorted to sleeping with two fans and says that the only way she can cope.
Lana Orr says she's hoping for a little help from Mother Nature, to ease their pain, "I'm praying for rain, and maybe it will cool off but... but for right now it's hot!"
With temperatures expected to stay steamy all weekend long these folks can do is wait and try to do whatever it takes to remain cool.
This is the second time in recent years the air conditioning failed at the Jackson House.