August 2, 2010 10:36:00 AM
An 81-year-old Hamilton woman died of heatstroke Saturday in the first heat-related death in Monroe County since July 2008.
Family members last saw Earnestine Fields, of Gloria Drive, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley.
She apparently was sitting in direct sunlight on the back patio of a nearby relative''s house when she died at about 5 p.m., Gurley said. A family member found her a couple hours later.
An examination showed that Fields had no signs of injury or trauma other than from the heat, Gurley said.
Her age and health problems contributed to her death, he added.
Temperatures were between 99 and 100 around 4 p.m. in the area where she lived, with a heat index near 115, Gurley said.
To avoid heatstroke, the leading cause of weather-related deaths, residents should drink lots of water, stay in air-conditioned rooms and check on neighbors, according to the National Weather Service.
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