U.S. Bakes In Heat Wave

Beth Davis takes a break between games Monday, July 25, 2005, on the clay courts at Dark Branch Racquet & Swim Club in Fayetteville, N.C. heat wave
With another dangerously hot day breaking across the country's midsection, indoors was one of the safest places to be: Inside, with the air conditioning and fans blasting.

But despite the giant fan and ice packs, Madalyn Lynch's boxer was still panting, drooling and not obeying commands in the exhibition ring at a 4-H dog show in northern Ohio.

"When he's supposed to sit, he just lays down," said Lynch, 18, who braved the scorching temperatures with her dog, Courtley, to attend the Seneca County Fair in Tiffin on Monday. "It's hard for him."

As a large swath of the U.S. suffered through another miserably hot day, people cranked up their air conditioners, headed to swimming pools and ran through sprinklers to try to stay cool.

Temperatures soared past 100 in several cities, and the National Weather Service posted excessive heat warnings and advisories from Illinois to Louisiana and from Nebraska to the District of Columbia. Some areas weren't expected to receive a break until Wednesday.

"It's like stepping into a sauna. The humidity is a new thing," said Barbara King, 26, of Aberdeen, Scotland, who was vacationing in Chattanooga, Tenn.

When air conditioners break down in this heat wave, though, reports CBS News' Peter Combs in Charlotte, technicians like David Dupuy have to crawl into hot attics to fix them.

"They're pushing probably 130 up there, it's hot," Dupuy said. "We've had two people that suffered heat stroke already."

The blistering heat has caused numerous deaths this summer. In the Phoenix area alone, 24 people, most of them homeless, have died.

Police there were hitting the streets in many cities, reports CBS News Correspondent Kelly Cobiella, handing out water, and checking for the hum of a running air conditioner.

Keeping an eye on the elderly is priority number one, says Lt. Ricky Collins of the Pine Lawn, Mo., police department.

"What's the worst case scenario in heat like this? Finding them overheated and dead," Collins said.

At least four deaths have been blamed on the heat in Missouri, including a woman found dead Sunday in a home without air conditioning.