Firefighters left Haney Place Mall at about 6 p.m. Tuesday after the shopping centre in downtown Maple Ridge was evacuated because of a hazardous materials incident.
The Maple Ridge fire department responded to the call just before 4:30 p.m.
A few people coming out of the mall were seen coughing, and paramedics were evaluating the condition of a couple of people who were complaining about throat irritation and trouble breathing.
Other people reported no symptoms.
Some mall patrons suggested the irritation may have been caused by a discharge of pepper spray.
Fire officials could not confirm that was the source.
Firefighters tested the mall for chemicals and didn’t find anything.
They blew out the air in the mall, reassessed the quality, and allowed shoppers and staff to return.