PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The death toll from the recent Delaware Valley heat wave has jumped to seven in the City of Philadelphia.

Over the weekend, one death had been attributed to the heat, that of a 67-year-old Germantown man found in a closed-up house without fans or air conditioning (see related story).

Now, Philadelphia health department spokesman Jeff Moran reports six more heat-related deaths.

Like the man who died Saturday, the three men and three women succumbed to heart disease combined with heat exposure, according to Moran.

Authorities also report in Lehigh and Burlington counties, one person died and in Montgomery County, two people died due to heat-related illness. All of the victims’ ages ranged from 50 to mid 80s. Most of them were found to have preexisting heart conditions and were discovered in homes with the air conditioner off, no fans, and windows closed, according to officials.

As the oppressive heat continues, Moran stresses the importance of staying cool and safe.

If you have a fan, make sure you have a window open while running it to ensure proper ventilation. If you have an air conditioner, use it.  But even if you don’t, try to get out into an air-conditioned environment (like a mall or store) for at least part of the day. For information on how you can beat the heat, click here.

Following those simple guidelines could mean the difference between life and death.

Reported by Molly Daly, KYW Newsradio, Crystal Cranmore, CBS Philly

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