HOUSTON -

A firefighter discovered white powder in a plastic bag in a Houston Fire Department locker room.

A source within the department said it was found in Fire Station 17 on Navigation Boulevard in southeast Houston on Thursday night.

The source said instead of immediately reporting the discovery, the city employee opened the bag, tasted the substance, and his tongue started to go numb.  At that point, the source said the firefighter was scared and destroyed the material without reporting it.

But later, realizing he could test positive for drug use, the firefighter reported the discovery and told a supervisor what happened.  According to reports, the department then made the decision to have everyone on duty Thursday night at Station 17 tested for illegal drug use; this action required bringing in manpower from other stations.

"We are currently conducting an administrative investigation concurrent with a Houston Police Department investigation," the fire department said in a statement.  "It is against our policy to comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, and it would be inappropriate for us to comment on another agency's ongoing investigation, except to tell you that the HFD is assisting and will continue to provide whatever resources are necessary in this investigation.  Any further questions should be deferred to HPD."

A separate source within the fire department said the substance is cocaine.