CHICO -- California authorities believe the powerful opioid fentanyl is responsible for a mass overdose event that left one person dead and hospitalized over a dozen others.
Chico police responded to a call at a home on Santana Court early Saturday morning. When they arrived they found one man dead and had to transport 12 people to the hospital.
Jesse Alexander Chico Fire Department's Division Chief says, "We had a mass casualty event also known as an mci. At one point we had six CPR's in progress."
In addition to that, two Chico police officers were taken to the hospital after they said they started to feel sick. It has not been confirmed, but police say signs point to poisoning from fentanyl, an opioid often mixed with heroin or cocaine.
Mike O'Brien Chico Police Chief says, "So every indication is that this is a mass overdose incident was caused from the ingestion of some form of fentanyl in combination with another substance, although that is yet to be confirmed."
First responders administered naloxone and performed CPR for multiple individuals on site, a task which took almost every ambulance in the city of Chico.
Alexander says, "So at that point we ended up having six fire units and eight medic units committed to this incident at one time, so pretty much stripping very much stripping the entire city of all the apparatus we had."
Friends and family members of the people inside the home all eagerly waited behind police caution tape for any word on their loved ones.
Of the twelve individuals in the home, four remain in critical condition, and eight were treated and remain at the hospital. For now the home is being treated as a hazmat zone, but police say there is no immediate risk to neighbors.
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."
For first responders, this incident was like nothing they've ever experienced.
Alexander says, "For a single-family residence to get this many individuals, especially all at one time, to walk in and have six CPR's in progress, that's a pretty big deal and no I have not experienced that many cardiac events all at the same time."
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. The two police officers were treated and released, officials say they are in good health.