hi there, I'm not sure if u can answer this, but I'll ask nevertheless.
I've read that electricity doesn't have a smell; I don't think that's necessarily true. The reason why I say this is because if u ever had static on the screen of an old standard def t.v. & u went up to the screen & smelled it, u would end up (as far as my experience to actually doing this) smelling a strange odor that would make u feel a little nauseous, at least that's what I felt when I smelled it. I believe this smell, from what I've read recently, might be ozone and/or nitric oxide, right? If u can't answer this then what science category should I go to on this site where somebody could possibly answer this question?
Electricity is oderless and invisible.
But its effects are very obvious and observable under the laws of physics.
High voltages can cause the air around it to give off ozone and cause other effects on surrounding materials. If insulation is inadequate for the voltages it can cause burning and molecular alterations in the surrounding material.
The high voltage used in CRT televisions is significant. Often several thousand volts. In old sets where dust has accumulated it can cause the issues you raised in your question. Very common.
These are well known causes and effects.
In above link see section 10.9 about high voltage arcing.