SMOKE SMELL: Stockland Gladstone's Coles, Kmart and Target stores have been evacuated.
SMOKE SMELL: Stockland Gladstone's Coles, Kmart and Target stores have been evacuated. Greg Bray

UPDATE: Employees allowed back inside Stockland stores

5.30PM: DUE to the earlier power disruption Jamaica Blue and Sunshine Kebabs are also closed.

4.17PM: EMPLOYEES at Kmart, Coles and Target Country have been allowed back inside their stores and firefighters have left the scene after an electrical contractor arrived at Stockland just prior to 4pm.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman confirmed firefighters had reported visible smoke from inside the building earlier but are now no longer required.

3.25PM: AN EMPLOYEE of one of the three stores says employees were told to evacuate after a smell of smoke "so strong my eyes were watering".

A loud buzzing sound was also reportedly heard from one of the switchboards behind the stores.

Traffic lights at the Dawson Hwy and Philip St intersection are now working again after they were briefly inoperable, though the power remains off at Kmart and McDonalds Kin Kora.

An Ergon energy crew has been seen working on powerlines outside Chanel College.

 

EVACUATED:Employees wait outside the stores while firefighters work to locate the source of a strong smell of smoke.
EVACUATED:Employees wait outside the stores while firefighters work to locate the source of a strong smell of smoke. Gregory Bray

3.09PM: STOCKLAND'S Coles, Kmart and Target stores on the western side of the Dawson Hwy have been evacuated due to a possible electrical fire.

Firefighters were called to the intersection of the Dawson Hwy and Philip St at about 2.40pm after powerlines were spotted arcing nearby.

A passer-by extinguished a small fire but the smell of smoke was soon reported from inside one of the shops, accompanied by a partial blackout.

Police are on the scene and are conducting traffic control at the intersection while firefighters investigate the cause of the problems.

An Ergon Energy crew is responding.

This is a developing story. Updates to follow as details emerge.