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Fentanyl suspected in deadly hazmat incident in Northeast Philly

Fentanyl suspected in deadly hazmat incident in Northeast Philly
Fentanyl suspected in deadly hazmat incident in Northeast Philly 02:03

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A man is dead and a woman and a baby were taken to a hospital after police say they were exposed to a "white powdery substance" inside a Northeast Philadelphia rowhome.    

Multiple fire trucks and ambulances responded to the 4000 block of Teesdale Street around 10:30 a.m. Friday for a report of an unresponsive man. Fire medics found the man in the basement where he was pronounced dead. The man has not been identified yet but police say he appears to be 30 years old.

A neighbor describes how she watched Philadelphia firefighters go through the decontamination process at the hazmat situation and can't help but tear up.

"We should really pray for them all the time because what they go through is emotional, and they're true heroes, I think they are," Deana Scannell, the neighbor, said.

Police say a "white powdery substance" was found on the man and throughout the basement. During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Philadelphia police commissioner Danielle Outlaw said it is believed the white substance is fentanyl. 

Outlaw says a 22-year-old woman and a 6-month-old baby were inside the home and taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital for treatment. Police say the woman went unresponsive and had to be revived with Narcan. 

Two police officers were decontaminated at the scene for exposure to the substance.

Fire commissioner Adam Thiel says because so much of the white powder was found in the house, it prompted the Philadelphia Fire Department to send hazmat teams.

"Usually you're not seeing quantities of these materials that are sufficient to like what we saw in here, it's a smaller dose, but a small dose can kill," Thiel said.

He says it took hours to decontaminate the house before police could begin their criminal investigation.  

The block is not far from the major intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues. Footage from Chopper 3 showed the response.

Philadelphia street blocked off for possible hazmat incident 00:56

Police say there is no threat to the community. 

As Scannell watched from across the street, she says she couldn't help but fear for her grandchildren.

"It's hard. You don't want your kids, your grandkids going anywhere, but I'm a Christian, prayer works," she said.

She's spending the rest of her Friday praying for everyone who was involved in this hazmat situation.

"Pray for the baby, pray for the family, pray for the neighborhood. Pray for Philly itself. This is getting really bad," Scannell said.

While firefighters have left Teesdale Street, Philadelphia police are continuing their investigation, which includes getting a search warrant to collect evidence inside the house.   

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