Dead and 14 Hospitalized from Apparent Overdose in Chico

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

Police were blaming a mass overdose in Chico on Fentanyl after one person died and 14 others were hospitalized Saturday.

One male adult died, and 12 other people were taken to an area hospital for treatment. "That is yet to be confirmed, but we do anticipate confirmation in the coming days". Of the survivors, eight are still being treated in the hospital and four were in critical condition.

Four of the victims were in critical condition, said Mike O'Brien, a police captain in Chico, California.

Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said at a press conference that police received a 911 call from someone inside the residence of a home in the 1100 block of Santana Court about 9 a.m. Authorities suspect the overdoses were caused by ingestion of the unsafe drug and a separate substance that is yet to be determined.

Chico Fire Department Chief, Steven Standridge, said the pair were "potentially exposed" to fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid that is frequently mixed with heroin.

Two police officers, the first to appear on the scene, were also taken to the hospital after reporting symptoms.

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

"We do respond to many, many overdoses and particularly with the opioid crisis that is occurring everywhere in this country, to include Chico, California, we want to have in the hands of officers, who are often the first to arrive on scene, the ability to administer a life-saving drug", he said.

"Remember, the amount of carfentanil - these substances are extremely risky - and it takes just a very minute amount to cause life-saving conditions", O'Brien said.

In November, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that fentanyl was behind the increase of drug overdose deaths between 2016 and 2017.

"'That is changing unfortunately, and now we've had this mass casualty incident... likely to have been cause by fentanyl".

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

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