Fort Worth man dies, 22 others hospitalized as arctic blast hits North Texas

The arctic blast that has settled into North Texas has officially turned deadly.

MedStar emergency response workers were out responding to calls all day Thursday as temperatures continued to drop.

Emergency officials said a man was found unresponsive after exposure to sub-freezing temperatures behind a McDonald’s off East Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth. He was rushed to a hospital where he later died. First responders could not get his core body temperature above 80 degrees.

The man did not have an identification card on him and may have been homeless.

Through 6 a.m. Friday, MedStar responded to 27 cold-related illness and injury calls. 23 people, including the unresponsive man, had to be taken to the hospital.

RELATED: Snow falls as temperatures drop across North Texas

MedStar invited FOX 4 to ride along as they responded to cold-weather-related emergencies, including hypothermia, frostbite, or even worse.

"It can be a matter of minutes before you succumb to a serious situation for you," explained John Hamilton, MedStar operations supervisor.


There weren’t too many people outside at the Fort Worth Stockyards Thursday, though some were taking care of last-minute shopping. One man appeared to be sacrificing his own jacket for his daughter. 

At Sundance Square, some were trying to quickly get out of the cold.

"It’s freezing, so we’re all bundled up," said Bella Warner, who was visiting Fort Worth.

Warner and her friend, Lily Rowan, were in the middle of a two-day layover following a flight from Philadelphia, before heading to Mexico for vacation. 

"I was lucky enough that my mom said, you know, throw a hat and gloves in your bag when you leave," Warner said.

Believe it or not, some said they enjoy the cold.

"I feel good. I like this weather. I’m trying to get here in. Yeah, she’s fussing at me about nothing on my head, but I really like this weather, though," said Roderick McCrory, who was visiting Fort Worth.

[REPORTER: "How are you feeling?"]

"It’s cold out here. It’s really cold and yeah, you know, I was telling him you got to put a hat and coat on, but he likes this weather, me, not so much," responded Lusinda McCrory, who was visiting Fort Worth.

Like it or not, first responders say it’s best to be prepared.

"This is a whole lot colder than what we normally experience right now," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said many of their calls relate to people experiencing homelessness, but even everyday tasks can be dangerous during this arctic blast.

"You hear, if you feel it, it chills you to the bone," Hamilton added.