Firefighters who answered the call in Waterbury Tuesday didn't battle a raging fire, but instead were overrun by fleas.

The members of Engine 2 left the scene of an abandoned house they were investigating on Taylor Street when they began to itch terribly. While on the ride back to the station, they noticed fleas all over them.

"It was thousands of them," Fire Chief David Martin said.

The firefighters were taken to the hospital, where they had to strip before going in for fear they might bring the fleas in with them. Covered in flea bites, they were scrubbed down at the hospital before being released.

All four firefighters were bitten so many times that they returned to the hospital Wednesday to be tested for a number of flea-borne illnesses, including the bubonic plague, according to Martin.

TOM: How itchy are you after reading this story?

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