OTTAWA -- A strange odour that forced evacuations in a residential neighbourhood in Pembroke is being blamed on a "lack of sanitary measures" in an abandoned home.

At approximately 10 a.m. Friday, the OPP responded to a report of an odd chemical smell coming from a residence on Cecil Street.

To ensure public safety, officers closed a portion of Cecil Street and nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution while the investigation into the source of the smell took place.

The OPP says Pembroke firefighters entered the unoccupied residence and found the source of the smell was not a threat to public safety.

"At this time the smell is believed to have resulted from a lack of sanitary measures in the residence," said the OPP in a statement.

Police did not elaborate on the lack of sanitary measures in the home.