Searing weekend heat is being blamed for hastening the death of a McDowell County woman.
McDowell County Sheriff's Office Capt. Shanon Smith says emergency responders, a local medical examiner, and the 73-year-old woman's physician agree the heat could have contributed to the death of Peggy Sue Burleson.
She collapsed and died at her home in the McDowell County community of Nebo on Saturday, when temperatures were around 100 degrees. Family members say Burleson had gone outside on her deck to look at her flower garden. Her son found her a short time later and called for help.
Burleson's husband said the couple's home has air conditioning, but his wife liked to go outside.
Smith says Burleson had a number of health problems and was taking several medications.
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