MINNEAPOLIS (WCC0) — Authorities say six people are recovering in a local hospital after an apparent accidental overdose in South St. Paul on Saturday.

According to South St. Paul Police Department, officers responded to a home on the 200 block of Bircher Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on a report of a medical emergency involving six individuals.

Upon arrival, officers found six people who accidentally overdosed on an unknown substance. First responders used Narcan on them, which reverses the effects of opioids like heroin.

“Right where that wall is, there was an officer that was sitting on the ground with his legs extended out with his back propping him up,” neighbor Matt Hellerman said as he pointed towards the home.

Officials say all six individuals were transported to a local hospital. Their current conditions are unknown are this time.

A police officer from an assisting agency was hospitalized for exposure. The substance involved will be tested at the BCA crime lab.

“You’ll see kids walking up the street. Tonight and today is very, very quiet,” Hellerman said.

He said he thinks the calmness that took over Bircher Avenue Sunday afternoon is due to the hectic and concerning scene that filled it the night before.

“There was squad cars, fire trucks, ambulances all over,” he said.

Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses have been rising in Minnesota, especially in the last several years. The Minnesota Department of Health’s most recent numbers show it happened over two thousand times in 2017.

“(Opioids) touch everybody’s neighborhoods. You know it’s just not in one location, it’s everywhere,” Hellerman said.

It could now be just down the street for him, not far from where children play outside.

“My grandkids come down and they’re five and three (years old) so they come outside and play. And if the officer was exposed to something just by picking it up, it makes it very scary knowing there’s kids out here and if there’s anything left on the ground,” he said.

The officer was later released from the hospital. Police did not have any medical updates on the six people involved. Investigators say it’s possible criminal charges could be filed in this case.

Jeff Wagner

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