FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It is perhaps an obvious statement, but it is most likely safe to say Mother Nature is cranking up the heat.
Starting Wednesday, the Valley will be under an Excessive Heat Warning. So far in 2017, there have been seven heat related deaths, with two in the past week.
Both victims were elderly, and lived in Fountain Hills. The Arizona heat and broken air conditioners proved to be a deadly combination for the two, who were found dead inside their homes
Tom/found elderly neighbor dead inside her home:
"we all watch over everybody, knows everybody in the area everybody know when somebody's not there," said one man, identified only as Tom. He found one of the elderly person dead inside their home.
Tom checked on the woman who lived two doors down, when his next door neighbor became concerned, as newspapers were piling up in the driveway. Tom said he discovered the body of 90-year-old Lorraine Minneci inside her home. Her air conditioner fan was on 'high', but it was blowing hot air.
"Tom: I cant say I was surprised," said Tom. "I was sad. She was a nice lady."
In another area of Fountain Hills, an 86-year-old woman succumbed to the heat, five days earlier. MCSO found Thelma Calhoun dead inside her home, after they did a welfare check. They noticed Calhoun's air conditioner was set to 78°F (25.6°C), but it was 99°F (37.2°C) inside the home.
Calhoun had dementia, and poor eyesight. Both Calhoun and Minneci reportedly lived alone. Now, MCSO is urging people to check on their elderly neighbors and relatives more often, as the Valley enters another week-long heat wave.
Marilou Russo just moved to Fountain Hills, and lives across the street from one of the elderly women who died. She said she barely sees any of her neighbors.
"This is different here," said Russo. "In Chicago, we come home from work, everyone's outside chatting. Here, I honestly can't tell you who our neighbors are. You just don't see anybody outside. In my neighbor's case, if I had known she was an elderly person, I would've checked in."