Police say a mass overdose at a house in Chico that killed one man and left four people in critical condition appears to have been largely caused by the risky opiate fentanyl, the Enterprise Record reports.
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports that all of the people hospitalized were over the age of 18, and most appeared to be in their 20s.
"Upon arrival, Chico police officers found multiple individuals in what appeared to be life-threatening, overdose conditions", Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien told reporters.
Police did not provide many details of the person who died, but said he was an adult male who died on the scene.
Both were treated and released later in the day.
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.
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The two police officers were treated and released, officials say they are in good health. Authorities suspect the overdoses were caused by ingestion of the unsafe drug and a separate substance that is yet to be determined.
Jesse Alexander Chico Fire Department's Division Chief says, "We had a mass casualty event also known as an mci".
Officers have obtained a search warrant of the house, which is now being treated as a "hazmat site". It has not been confirmed, but police say signs point to poisoning from fentanyl, an opioid often mixed with heroin or cocaine.
The police chief said officers administered CPR and six doses of Naloxone - a treatment for opioid overdoses used as a nasal spray or an injection.
It's not clear what drug the fentanyl might have been paired with, he said, but his officers have only come across it when it was combined with heroin. O'Brien said a narcotics task force was trying to determine the source of the drugs. 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. "That is changing, unfortunately, and now we've had this mass casualty incident".