Suspected drug overdose deaths reported in Central West End

St. Louis firefighters responded to several calls for suspected drug overdoses in just over 10 hours Saturday morning and early afternoon.

ST. LOUIS — Six people died of suspected drug overdoses Saturday in a two-block stretch of the Central West End.

Capt. Garon Mosby, a spokesman for the St. Louis Fire Department, said the overdoses began around 3:10 am along Forest Park Avenue between South Taylor Avenue and South Boyle Avenue, in an area lined by apartment buildings and Washington University School of Medicine offices.

A sixth person also suspected of overdosing was taken to a hospital but survived, Mosby said. In all, the calls for service spanned more than 10 hours.

Mosby said two members of the fire department were also treated and released at an area hospital after being exposed to or contaminated by an unknown opioid.

On Sunday, police said a sixth person had died from a suspected overdose. In all, police said six people died from suspected overdoses, and two others were hospitalized.

The fire department responds to suspected overdoses because of the large number of firehouses throughout the city. On any given day, there are only 8-12 medic units versus 30 firehouses, Mosby said.

Fire department vehicles also carry Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

A spokeswoman for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed the deaths were being investigated but had no additional information to release.

Correction: Feb. 6, 2022
An earlier version of this article reported that two members of the St. Louis Fire Department were treated for suspected fentanyl exposure. A fire department spokesman clarified that they were treated for “exposure to or contamination by an unknown opioid.”

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