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

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Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2019, 02:17

Police say a "mass overdose" of the synthetic opioid fentanyl at a house in Chico, California, has left one man dead and 12 more hospitalized.

One person was pronounced dead on the scene, and 12 others were rushed to the nearby Enloe Hospital.

The overdose was reported to authorities around at 9:12 a.m. Saturday morning, January 12, CNN affiliate KHSL-TV reported.

O'Brien said that officers performed CPR and administered six doses of naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose and comes in half-doses.

Two officers at the scene also complained about being possibly exposed to the drug while inside the home.

"It was a large, mass casualty incident for us", the fire chief said in a news conference Saturday night. Authorities suspect the overdoses were caused by ingestion of the unsafe drug and a separate substance that is yet to be determined.

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Four of those people admitted to the hospital were listed in critical condition, O'Brien said, adding there is "potential for additional fatalities", Fox reported. The victims-aged between 19 and 30-all seemed to know each other, according to police.

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".

Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien got a 911 call from inside the home in the 1100 block of Santana Court, pictured above. On Sunday, multiple people were reportedly injured after shots were fired at a downtown Phoenix Hotel. Both officers were treated and released.

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

"The residence where this incident occurred is being treated as a hazmat site", he said.

In August, President Donald Trump urged the Senate to pass a measure to stop synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl from being transported into the United States via the U.S. Postal Service system. It has been blamed for a significant rise in overdose deaths across the country in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.