An earlier version of this story stated the incident happened in tower two of Brighton Towers. Syracuse Fire confirms the incident occurred in tower two. 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Nine first responders and Upstate Medical University staff have been treated and released from the hospital after they were exposed to an unknown drug-related substance. 

The incident first unfolded at Brighton Towers in Syracuse when a resident called 911 Wednesday morning fearing two people were dead in a nearby apartment. The Syracuse Fire Department and ambulance personnel arrived at tower one just before 10:30 am to find two deceased individuals and one person who was critically ill inside a sixth-floor apartment. The third victim was transported to an area hospital, treated and later released. 

Syracuse Police were also called to the scene and while waiting for the Medical Examiner Syracuse police officers began to feel ill and requested EMS and Syracuse Fire back to the scene. The Syracuse Fire Department HAZMAT team responded and determined their symptoms were from exposure to an unidentified substance inside the apartment. 

Three Syracuse police officers, one Syracuse firefighter and two EMT’s were ultimately transported to Upstate Medical University for treatment after experiencing elevated heart rates and nausea. While these first responders were being admitted and treated the exposure spread to a number of Upstate staff members who came into direct contact with the exposed individuals. To prevent further exposure Upstate Medical University temporarily shut down its Adult Emergency Room from 12:45-3:00 pm. An Upstate nurse, police officer, and reception desk clerk were all treated for exposure. All nine personnel have been released from the hospital. 

Resident’s living on the sixth floor in Tower One at Brighton Towers were evacuated at the time of the incident and the NYS Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was called to the scene to help decontaminate the apartment complex. Residents were able to safely re-enter their apartments just before 6pm Wednesday evening. 

The Syracuse Fire HAZMAT team is continuing their investigation into the unknown substance. 

Watch the Wednesday afternoon press conference