Medical examiner: Death at Boystown bathhouse was natural; “environmental heat stress” a factor

The Cook County Medical Examiner has determined that a man who was found unresponsive in a Boystown bathhouse last month died from natural causes with “environmental heat stress” contributing to his death, according to official records.

Donald Fraser, 55, was found unconscious around 8:55 p.m. on Mar. 6 inside Steamworks, 3246 North Halsted, police said. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center less than an hour later.

Fraser’s death was caused by atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, the medical examiner said. Obesity and heat stress are listed as secondary causes of death. The long-running bathhouse features a  large steam room and hot tub area.

Two days after Fraser’s death, 53-year-old Marcus Z. Loveless was pronounced dead at Illinois Masonic less than an hour after he also collapsed at Steamworks, according to medical examiner records.

Loveless’ death was caused by arteriosclerosis and obesity, the medical examiner said.

The men were the fourth and fifth persons to die at the bathhouse since January 2017.

  • On Apr. 6, 2019, a 53-year-old man was found dead in his private room after he failed to leave by check-out time. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be accidental consumption of a lethal amount of inhalants, according to the medical examiner. Officials did not publicly identify the inhalant.
  • On July 11, 2017, a 31-year-old man was pronounced dead after he was found unresponsive in room 308 at the club. He died from accidental acute methamphetamine intoxication, the medical examiner said.
  • On Jan. 23, 2017, a 36-year-old suburban man was found dead in the bathhouse’s jacuzzi and sauna area about three hours after he arrived. His death was ruled an accidental drowning.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is