Four tenants at 424 Victoria Street in Edmundston were evacuated from their four-unit apartment building Tuesday afternoon after firefighters determined an increasingly noxious odor that presented a health hazard.

Officials said former occupants of a ground-level apartment left behind food that had spoiled, animal waste and other odor-generating garbage.

Health inspectors ordered the four people to evacuate three second-story apartments for three days while the building owner arranges to have the vacant unit emptied and cleaned.

Canadian Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency lodging and meals for a couple from one apartment. Two other tenants made their own arrangements, such as staying with relatives or friends.