A Bellevue street was quarantined for four hours yesterday morning after a vandal deliberately spilt a dangerous chemical over the footpath and a nearby car.
A truck holding containers of insecticide for orchard-spraying was reportedly left unsecured on Windsor Road over Saturday night and opportunistic vandals removed one of the two-litre containers.
They then poured the dangerous substance over the sidewalk before emptying its contents onto a parked car. Local resident Linda Boubee-Hill said her husband alerted the council's City Care on Sunday morning after discovering the white substance.
"He thought it was paint and was just going to wash it away until he went closer and got a whiff of it and realised it was something else."
Mrs Boubee-Hill said the family and her neighbours were asked to remain indoors until the fire service finished the clean-up at midday.
The car was reported to belong to a friend of their neighbours.
Tauranga station officer Mark Keller said it took 60,000 litres of water to clean up the chemical.
Firefighters wore protective suits and tagged off the area until clean-up was finished.
"We believe it happened sometime in the early morning.
"Most of it had dried by the time we got there so we had to scrub it off the footpath and wash down the car," he said.