1 dead, 4 in critical condition at mass overdose in California house

Lamar Ellis
January 14, 2019

One person connected to the people in the house where the fentanyl overdose occurred called 911 on Saturday morning. Above, syringes of the opiate fentanyl appear at an inpatient pharmacy.

At a news conference, Chico, California police captain Mike O'Brien said one man died at the scene and four other victims are in critical condition, reported NBC News.

As of about 10 pm last night, nine people were still in the hospital, four in critical condition, two in serious condition, and three in fair condition. They were also treated at the hospital, the chief said, adding they were released and are in good condition.

"We knew Fentanyl had been moving West it really has been in other parts of the country where they're really seeing the greatest impacts of this particular drug", said Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien.

"Every indication-talking to medical staff, talking to doctors-everything is consistent with a fentanyl or similar-type overdose", O'Brien told the Sacramento Bee.

O'Brien says, "It's not a danger to the public at this time, but i do want to emphasize that but certainly in the processing of that scene we need to do that very carefully, because it definitely is a hazmat site at this point".

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Chico Fire Department Chief Steven Standridge said the officers were "potentially exposed" to the drug, a synthetic opioid often imported on the black market from China and Mexico to be used as a filler in heroin and other street narcotics.

Officers have obtained a search warrant of the house, which is now being treated as a "hazmat site".

'The amount of fentanyl - these substances are extraordinarily unsafe and it takes a very minute amount to cause [life-threatening] conditions, ' O'Brien said.

Six doses of the opioid antidote naloxone were administered to the victims, who are believed to be friends 19 to 30 years old.

The home is now being treated as a "hazmat site", but O'Brien said it is "not a danger to the public".

More than 71,500 Americans have died of a drug overdose in 2017, according to data released the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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