White Rock firefighters were called to the 1400-block of Johnston Road Friday afternoon, after smoke began billowing from a grate in front of the Rexall pharmacy. (File photo)

White Rock firefighters were called to the 1400-block of Johnston Road Friday afternoon, after smoke began billowing from a grate in front of the Rexall pharmacy. (File photo)

Cigarette, garbage blamed for smoke in uptown White Rock

Fire crews alerted Friday afternoon

A discarded cigarette butt is believed to be the cause of smoke seen billowing from a grate in uptown White Rock Friday afternoon.

Fire Chief Phil Lemire said crews were alerted to the issue in the 1400-block of Johnston Road – in front of the Rexall pharmacy – at 3:15 p.m. June 7.

The investigation – which took firefighters inside the Miramar Village tower first – determined the source was a ventilation shaft that serves the underground parking areas.

“The smoke was obvious on arrival. It took a few minutes to suss out where it was coming from,” Lemire said.

Lemire suspects a carelessly discarded cigarette butt ignited garbage and other materials that have been dropped into the shaft over the past dozen years or so.

No injuries were reported.