Originally published: Monday, July 8

Updated: Friday, July 12

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office is now investigating another death that occurred around the time of an excessive heat in the Portland region. The county reports seven people died during the heat, whose deaths may have been caused by heat-related illness. Another nine deaths are also being investigated across Oregon, KOIN reports.

On Friday, July 12, Multnomah County reported a 62-year-old man was found in Southwest Portland Thursday, July 11, marking the seventh death investigation underway by the county medical examiner's office related to the heat wave.

Among those who died, each was possibly from heat-related causes, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office reports. A Clackamas County man who died in a Portland hospital was among those whose deaths are being investigated as potentially heat related. 

Outside Multnomah County, medical examiners in Clackamas, Coos, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath and Washington Counties are also investigating potential heat deaths. While three of the deaths in Oregon involved people younger than 35, the majority of those who died were men over the age of 60.

Those who've died in Multnomah County since during the excessive heat wave:

An 87-year-old man found in East Portland or Gresham (97230 ZIP code), reported Friday, July 5;

A 33-year-old man from Clackamas County who died in a Portland hospital Saturday, July 6;

A 64-year-old man found in Southeast Portland (97206 ZIP code), reported Sunday, July 7;

A 75-year-old man found in Southeast Portland (97216 ZIP code), also reported Sunday, July 7;

A 67-year-old woman found in Northeast Portland (97212 ZIP code), reported Monday, July 8;

A 72-year-old man found in North Portland (97203 ZIP code), reported Tuesday, July 9;

And a 62-year-old man found in Southwest Portland (97219 ZIP code) Thursday, July 11.

Multnomah County didn't release any additional details about those who died, or the circumstances of their deaths. 

"All deaths are still considered suspected cases and are under investigation as potential hot-weather-related deaths," a Monday, July 8 announcement from the county states. "Investigators say confirmation will not be complete for several weeks to months. Further tests and investigation will determine whether the deaths are officially hot-weather-related. In some cases, the deaths may be found to have had other causes."

The reported fatalities came as Oregon, and much of the west coast, experienced a dangerous heat wave that drove temperatures into the triple digits. Multnomah County, the city of Portland, and the state of Oregon each declared a state of emergency last Friday, July 5, due to the heat.

In response, Multnomah County also opened three cooling centers to offer respite from the heat.

The deaths follow a pattern of deadly heat waves in the Portland region that has heightened the focus on the impacts of climate change.

In 2021, Multnomah County recorded a deadly summer heat dome that killed 69 people. Many died in their homes due to lack of air conditioning, while others never turned their AC on, the county reported. 

In 2023, Multnomah County filed a lawsuit against several large oil companies, naming them as defendants who contributed to a warming atmosphere that drove temperatures to deadly levels and caused the 2021 heat dome.

For the latest information on available cooling spaces and resources, call 2-1-1 or go to multco.us/hot.