What was thought to be a hazardous materials incident has turned out to be a case of faulty electrical wiring, Prince George Fire Rescue has said of an incident late last week.
Personnel had been called to a scene Friday afternoon on Seventh Avenue between Victoria and Brunswick, where a pedestrian came across a noxious-smelling smoke and a bubbling sound coming from a grate in the sidewalk surrounding a planted tree.
They initially thought the cause was a mildly acidic chemical but in time, the cause was found to be unprotected live electrical wires buried in the soil.
"This appeared to be an improperly installed private fixture for decorative lighting," Prince George Fire Rescue chief John Lane said.
An electrician from the city's utilities department attended the scene and disconnected the electrical feed to the uncovered wires.
"It was determined that electrical arcing in the moist soil was the cause of the smoke and bubbling sound," Lane said.