Neighborhood Hit Hard By ’95 Heat Wave Coping With This Week’s Hot Weather

CHICAGO (CBS) — The front porch on Monday was the place to be for many in the Austin neighborhood, which was hard hit during the fatal heat wave of 1995.

“It is kind of a better breeze out here than I have in my room,” 53-year-old Charlie Daniels told CBS 2’s Mai Martinez.

For Daniels and his neighbors, the cool breeze provided some relief from the heat. Many living in the neighborhood don’t have air conditioning, so they opened windows and did their best to keep their homes cool.

 “It was just hot. Hot period,” 89-year-old Willie Miller said about conditions when she woke up Monday.

Miller survived the 1995 heat wave and says she’ll never forget it.

More than 700 people couldn’t cope and died from heat-related causes.

“I remember a lot of elderly people dying. A lot of times they don’t have anybody to come see about them,” Daniels said.

Shirley Jones remembers 1995, too. That’s why she decided to walk over to check on Miller.

“I love her, she’s a good friend of mine,” Jones said.  “You have to take care of the old people, make sure they are OK.”

Jones is making sure she herself stays safe, not leaving home without her water bottle which she had already filled up three times. 

The Chicago Fire Department saw an increase in calls Monday for heat-related medical issues.

The city is reminding people that cooling centers are open. Residents can call 3-1-1 to find a location and even get a ride to one if needed.

Officials also are asking people to check on their sick and elderly neighbors and call 3-1-1 if a well-being check is needed.

  • jo

    exact reason why it should be illegal for a home not to have central air.

    • Mr. Justice

      If morons like you would keep their yaps shut, there would be less hot air.

  • What?!

    People can’t always afford air conditioning. Consider yourself a lucky elitist. Get real, jo!

    • Why don't we give them free air conditioners too??

      Room air conditioners are $98 at Wal Mart…so out of the 3 or 4 generations of people living in these homes, everyone can’t pitch in a total of a hundred bucks?! I’m sure at least one of those household members is driving around town in an Escalade, and drinking Cristal at the club with one of his “ladies” (baby momma, or soon-to-be baby momma).

  • jo

    exactly why I said it. my house doesn’t have air conditioning. so you can “get real”, because I’m not all that lucky.

    • What?!

      Not everyone can afford a 200 or 300 hundred dollar a month electric bill either, jo. Can you? If so, you can afford to go buy yourself an air conditioner and crank up the electricity. Right? Get it, jo?

      • jo

        Obviously I said it for a reason you idiot. I think it should be required for a house/apartment to have central air in it just like heat is REQUIRED in a house just because you have it doesnt mean you use it, if you can’t afford it then dont turn it on.. So take your attitude elsewhere, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  • Ken Watson

    Now I can see why this week’s forecast is rigged.


    My ass room ac’s are $98 i’d LOVE to see what walmart you’re shopping at because the cheapest one for a ROOM is $299. now if you’re talking about a window ac. It’s not even safe to have those, unless you want some thugs to rob your house. Idiot.

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