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Coroner: Child’s death attributed to air conditioner misuse

August 14, 2018

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A coroner says an improperly used portable air conditioner overheated a small room, leading to the death of a 20-month-old northeastern Pennsylvania girl.

The Lackawanna County coroner’s office said Monday that an autopsy Monday determined that Sunday’s death of Nicole Heaton in Scranton was due to hyperthermia and dehydration.

Coroner Tim Rowland ruled the death accidental.

Police found the girl unresponsive and took her to the emergency room at Moses Taylor Hospital, where she died. An 8-month-old baby remains hospitalized.

Scranton police said the air conditioner effectively generated heat rather than cooling down the room.

Chief Carl Graziano called the death “a total tragedy.”

Police and the county district attorney’s office are investigating.

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