NEWS

Suspicious package identified as a smudge pot

04/18/2013 07:42 EDT | Updated 06/18/2013 05:12 EDT
Toronto police have identified the object that caused the closure a city block in the financial district late Wednesday as a smudge pot, an oil-burning heater used to keep frost off fruit trees.

Members of the city’s emergency task force and bomb disposal squad were called in just after 8 p.m. Wednesday to deal with the object, which to some resembled some kind of military device and is about the size of a bowling ball.

Police sent in a robot to examine it and determine if it was dangerous.

About an hour later, the device was put into a secure van and removed from the area.

King Street, between Yonge and Bay streets, was closed for most of the evening, with police redirecting pedestrians.

On Thursday morning police said the device is a smudge pot, also known as a choofa or orchard heater. The pots are used to burn oil outdoors, often to keep frost off fruit trees.

It was the second time the bomb disposal squad was called out on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, they investigated a suspicious package in the city's east end.

That object turned out to be a souvenir artillery shell which did not contain any explosives.

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