Connecticut firefighters conducting a routine safety check of an abandoned building were hospitalized and checked for bubonic plague after they were beset by fleas, WTIC reported Thursday.

Four Waterbury firefighters who were dispatched to check an abandoned home returned to their truck to find themselves covered in the insects.

"[They] didn't realize until they came out and got back on the engine that they were literally coated in fleas," said Waterbury Fire Chief David Martin. "One of the guys described it as they had thousands of them, crawling on them."

The firefighters were taken to Waterbury Hospital, where they were scrubbed down and tested for diseases transmitted by fleas, including bubonic plague, WTIC reported. Their fire engine was fumigated.