CERES (CBS13) — Another day of 100-plus-degree temperatures has now claimed the life of a 77-year-old man who died in his Ceres home.

There is little relief from the heat inside these Ceres trailer homes, even with the air conditioning turned on.

“I think it was 102 in here,” said Bebe Gardner.

She is paying closer attention to how the heat is affecting her after a 77-year-old man died nearby because of the triple-digit temperatures.

Firefighters say they found the unresponsive senior citizen on his floor on Tuesday with his air conditioner blowing out hot air. The temperature inside his home was more than 100 degrees.

“There’s just not enough air conditioners to go around and water coolers, and all kinds of problems,” said Kerith Dennis. “We’re trying to help everyone as much as we can and it’s just not enough.”

Most of the homes have air conditioners, but because they’ve been working overtime since the heat wave began, a lot of them are starting to break down.

Then there are a few families who don’t have any air conditioners at all.

“The heat wave hit and that air conditioner was not ready for it,” said Tassy Rutherford. “It was just a little one, and these—they’re trailers. They’re hot. They stasy hot.”

A day after the heat-related death, firefighters talked to the people who live here to warn them about the heat that took the 77-year-old man’s life. They passed out fliers with tips to stay cool and what heat-related symptoms to watch out for.

Management and security say they’re working as fast as they can to make sure everyone’s A/C is working properly.

“They’re blowing up,” said manager Niki Garnder. “They’re not withstanding the heat. Brand-new ones are just taking a dump on us.”

For now, they’re desperately doing whatever they can to stay cool, checking on neighbors, and being as patient as possible, waiting eagerly each day for the sun to go down.

“They’re working as fast as they can to upgrade this place,” Rutherford said. “Everybody is just doing their part, but we was not prepared for this wave. Not for the heat.”

Cal-OSHA is also investigating the deaths of two people who died in the brutal heat while working outside. They were from Yuba City and Fresno.


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