People in the East Sussex town of Seaford have been told to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed after a noxious odour "like burning plastic" was reported on Friday evening.
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Sussex Police said some people in the seaside town have complained of stinging eyes and feeling sick.
Police, the Coastguard, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Lewes District Council are trying to determine the cause of the smell which was first noticed in The Ridings area at around 6pm and stayed until 11pm.
A spokesperson for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service told the Hastings & St Leonards Observer: "Crews attended last night but couldn't ascertain the source of the odour.
"Members of the public are reminded that if they have any concerns today in relation to this odour they should keep doors and windows shut and report it to the Fire Service."
George O'Reilly, a hazardous materials officer investigating the smell, told the BBC: "People will be waking up this morning without the smell and able to go out and open their windows.
"Anybody who smells it again or has any concerns should contact the fire service immediately.