King County medical examiner: Issaquah-area man dies from hypothermia

November 25, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 25, 2010

The recent cold has claimed the life of a 66-year-old Issaquah-area man.

James R. Furseth died Nov. 20 in Issaquah from hypothermia due to exposure to the cold, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported. Temperatures in the Issaquah area dipped to near freezing on the day Furseth died.

The cold also claimed a 76-year-old Redmond man, Jerry M. Fitzgerald. Officials said Fitzgerald died from hypothermia Nov. 19.

The medical examiner’s office had no further details about the men Thursday morning.

Hypothermia occurs after a person’s body temperature has dropped significantly below normal due to inadequate protection against cold. The state Department of Health offers a list of symptoms and prevention tips here.

Temperatures in recent days dipped into the 20s and teens as a fall snowstorm swept into the region.

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3 Responses to “King County medical examiner: Issaquah-area man dies from hypothermia”

  1. Emilie Leming on November 25th, 2010 4:15 pm

    How tragic… one has to wonder whether or not these men were homeless or just had no heat source in their homes. There’s been a group of dedicated individuals trying to find an unused or underused building in Issaquah that could be used as a homeless shelter at night especially during this bitter cold that we’re experiencing. I would very much like to see this story enlarged upon & follow up on as to why these men died. What were their circumstances? What can we do to help them?
    Let’s not let this be forgotten & written off as just another tragic event that happened to people that we didn’t know… What a tragic statement upon humanity here in Issaquah. We must care enough to know more & try to keep it from happening again.

  2. Nancy Spooner on November 26th, 2010 7:56 pm

    There are Senior single adults living in their vehicles around Issaquah. Most are clean and well behaved. All they want is a place.

    It is rediculus for low rent housing to be so expensive to create. I read that some outfit is taking the large shipping containers (most are nearly FREE and have hardwood floors) and installing small bathrooms and kitchen units and insulating the walls, making it easy to make studio apartments out of them. The cost around $10,000 a unit set up.

    The plumbing and wiring are all the same and the units can be stacked or side x side.
    They are welded together (earthquake proof) with only the exposed areas needing siding. Not much different in size of large travel trailers. Plenty of space for one or two people.

  3. Claire Petersky on January 21st, 2011 9:31 am

    If you are concerned about this story – Faith in Action has a detailed proposal to get disaster kits to all frail/disabled elders living in isolation in the greater Issaquah area. We have the volunteers ready, but so far, we have not been able to secure funding. The total cost to reach the 75 seniors we have so far identified is $3500. If you are interested in helping this effort, please go to our website and find out how to volunteer or donate. Thank you for being interested in the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens!

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