Two people are dead and multiple first responders were rushed to the hospital Wednesday due to a hazardous material incident in Syracuse, according to the Syracuse Fire Department.

Officials said they were called to Brighton Towers off Brighton Avenue Wednesday afternoon. From there, officials say three Syracuse Police officers found a 24-year-old male and 55-year-old male dead and one person ill in an apartment on the sixth floor in tower one.

About 30 minutes later, the officers started to feel ill and called in the hazmat team. The officers were taken to the hospital for exposure to a substance.

A powder substance found on a victim at the scene was confirmed to have been fentanyl, according to Syracuse Chief of Fire Michael Monds in a press conference Thursday. While the investigation is still ongoing, Monds says investigators believe fentanyl exposure is responsible for the illnesses of first responders at the scene and possibly for the illnesses hospital workers treating them would also experience.

"It is still not entirely clear what made everyone else sick, though the signs we were seeing were direct signs of fentanyl exposure," said Monds.

Monds says the investigation will include a toxicology report on the two victims to determine if other substances could have been involved.

Three Syracuse police officers may have been exposed and were treated at the scene, according to firefighters. They and one Syracuse firefighter who was part of the initial response were transported to Upstate University Hospital for symptoms ranging from nausea to elevated heart rate.

"At one point, several hospital personnel also began feeling ill," the fire department stated. "The Emergency Department was shut down for approximately two hours and 15 minutes to manage the patients and prevent further exposures."

The sixth floor of Brighton Towers was evacuated. Residents of the floor returned to their apartments before 6 p.m. 

The hazmat team entered the apartment and collected samples to analyze. Firefighters were unable to definitively identify a specific hazard. The investigation continues into what caused the deaths and symptoms.

All Syracuse police and fire personnel were released from the hospital. Officials say the ill person located in the tower was treated at a hospital and released.

“It is incredibly taxing on our officers, on our firefighters, on the families," Mayor Ben Walsh said. "I’m just right now grateful that those involved today are OK, but it’s maddening, it’s frustrating, it’s scary."

The NYS Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was requested to the scene to clean up the apartment.

Additional agencies that responded to the scene include American Medical Response, Onondaga County Emergency Management, SUNY Upstate Police, SUNY Upstate Emergency Management, TLC Ambulance, the Onondaga County Medical Examiner, Fayetteville Ambulance and Liberty Resources.