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Mystery Odor Waking People From Their Sleep in Cheverly

The smell is so strong that residents say they have awakened, gagged and felt "a burning feeling in the back of the throat"

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What's that smell?

The Prince George's County, Maryland, town of Cheverly is trying to identify the source of an odor that's so bad it's reportedly waking people from their sleep.

Cheverly residents began reporting a strong smell starting Tuesday evening, the town said in a statement released Wednesday morning. It's so strong that residents say they have awakened, gagged and felt "a burning feeling in the back of the throat."

The town is working with the Maryland Department of the Environment, Washington Gas, WSSC, Pepco and the Bladensburg Fire Department to try to identify the source of the smell.

It's no laughing matter, the town said.

"We take the matter of our air quality and impacts to our community's health very seriously and are closely following the situation," the statement said.

A strong odor was reported along the D.C.-Maryland border on Saturday, the D.C. and Prince George's County fire departments said over the weekend. People smelled it all the way from Southern Avenue to Ritchie Road.

The D.C. fire department said the culprit was a junkyard in Prince George's County. That smell dissipated, and residents were told not to be alarmed.

Cheverly officials did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

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