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Multiple accidental overdoses at South St. Paul house gathering under investigation

Police search for evidence in a South St. Paul home near Bircher and Motor Avenues after six people were found unconscious due to apparent opioid use Saturday night into Sunday morning. Photo: KSTP
Police search for evidence in a South St. Paul home near Bircher and Motor Avenues after six people were found unconscious due to apparent opioid use Saturday night into Sunday morning.

June 05, 2019 11:55 AM

Not one, not two, but six people at a South St. Paul house gathering Saturday night needed narcan and an emergency trip to the hospital after police said they accidentally overdosed on an "unknown" substance.

Another person, who happened to be a responding officer from Inver Grove Heights, also had to be treated for exposure to what a source said appeared to be fentanyl. As of Sunday night, he was released from the hospital. 

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The chaos occurred around 10:30pm Saturday at a home on the 200 block of Bircher and Motor Avenues. A 911 call alerted police to a possible medical emergency, after the bash went bust. On Dakota County police radio, a dispatcher could be heard, "tell mutual aid we have five persons down, not conscious, not breathing."

Matt Hellerman lives right by the home and said the new owner moved in a couple of weeks ago. He heard the commotion and stepped outside to check things out, "four people were initially on the boulevard in the grass, two others were laying nearby."

Investigators described the people as "mostly male, the vast majority of them were not conscious and were not breathing, you can imagine that took an infinite amount of resources, we used everything we had," according to Sgt. Cory Slifko at the scene.

Hellerman and other neighbors observed from a safe distance, "there was an ambulance with a guy who came down and a paramedic holding an i-v bag, they loaded that man onto an ambulance and I saw more coming and thought what is going on?"

Not knowing what they would encounter, first responders wore protective gear as they administered Narcan along with life-saving measures. 

Investigators have not released the name of the homeowner, the names of the six individuals who overdosed or their conditions. Addiction experts said for every overdose that ends in death, many more don't. In 2017, state records showed 422 deaths and 2.037 close calls. 

South St. Paul police along with the Dakota County Drug Task Force are in charge of the criminal probe.  

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Credits

Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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