More than a dozen people had to be taken to hospital Wednesday night, after a fire and dangerous fumes were discovered in a Barrie business.

Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Essa Road and Burton Avenue around 6:00 p.m.

Fourteen people were sent to RVH as a precaution after reports of a strange smell in the area. All have since been released.

Fire crews detected rising carbon monoxide levels and other poisonous gases on site.

“We knew that something was burning somewhere, we just had to figure out where,” says Barrie Fire’s Samantha Hoffmann.

Fire crews determined the fire was coming from underground electrical wires in a pipe or conduit outside the building.

“Fire crews used a CO2 fire extinguisher, discharged it into the conduit and the levels decreased,” add Hoffmann. “It’s a strange call but it’s one we can definitely learn from because the fire was underground in wiring, it’s harder to detect, it’s hard to fight.”

Barrie Fire says the fire could have been far more serious if it had occurred overnight when people are generally seeping. Electricians and PowerStream were conducting their own investigation on Thursday.

Business owners have been told they could be closed for a day or two. And before anyone can return inside the building, the gas company must conduct its own investigation because it was a carbon monoxide issue.