Police have given the all-clear for Timaru residents to return after a chemical leak at an industrial building forced them out of their homes early this morning.
Six fire trucks, two specialist units and the police were called to the Chrome Platers building on Heaton Street about 5.30am.
Police had set up a large cordon around the Heaton St area, closed down several surrounding streets and evacuated people from nearby houses as a precaution.
The chemical leak had been contained, and the temporary cordon which closed off a number of streets has been lifted.
Police said a cordon remained around the building while fire fighters worked to isolate a number of leaking chemical containers inside.
Earlier, the fire service said smoke coming from the building could have been caused by either a fire or a chemical reaction.
Fire investigators were looking into the cause of the fire, though they said it was not being treated as suspicious.