800,000 Bees Attack 7, Kill 1 in Arizona
10/09/2014 AT 02:00 PM EDT
Douglas, Arizona, Fire Chief Mario Novoa told CNN that his department answered a call Wednesday morning and found a massive swarm. Though the department is usually prepared for "bee calls," on this occasion, they recruited an exterminator. The exterminator found a three-foot by eight-foot hive in the house – so large the ceiling of the house had to be partially removed to access the hive. Based on the size of the hive, the exterminator said there were about 800,000 bees.
"We get calls about bees fairly often but I've never seen anything to this extent. This is the first time we have recorded a death in our community from bees," Novoa said. The home's owner, a 90-year-old man, was miraculously not injured. The man who died has not been identified, and Novoa was unable to offer an update on the condition of the others.
Jesus Corella of Southwest Exterminating believed the hive was about 10 years old, its honeycomb so compressed it was outgrowing the hive – the bees had started building another hive about 10 feet away.