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Hot weather may have killed three in SF, medical examiner says

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Two EMT responders work the scene of a cyclist injury near Fourth and Mission streets in San Francisco, Calif. June 21 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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Three San Francisco residents died likely due to the heat wave last weekend, the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office announced Wednesday.

Christopher Wirowek, director of operations for the Medical Examiner’s Office, said the three people who died due to “probable” heat-related causes were born in the 1920s and 1930s, who “lived independently” and died in their homes, according to a news release from the Medical Examiner’s Office and obtained by KPIX.

Wirowek said in a statement that an investigation revealed “no calls seeking medical assistance” to 911 related to their deaths.

SEE RELATED: SF ambulances arrive late to life-threatening calls during sweltering weekend heat

Though no deaths have been connected to late ambulance times, documents obtained by the San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday show some San Franciscans waited longer than usual times — sometimes as long as 70 minutes — for ambulances to arrive during the heat wave last Friday and Saturday.

“The reality is it’s probably more than three,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “The bottom line in the city of San Francisco, one of the richest cities in the world, three is three too many, and it’s embarrassing that The City did not take enough steps in advance to prevent this from happening.”

An ambulance shortage was exacerbated by swelling 911 calls which more than doubled during the heat wave, according to the Department of Public Health. That prompted the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management to request additional ambulances from counties as far as Sacramento.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct title for Christopher Wirowek.

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