Some Canton Schools Closed; Evacuations Eased

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CANTON, Ohio -- Several schools in the Canton City School District were closed following a fire and chemical scare.

The problem originated at Convoy Containers in Canton around 2 p.m. Monday when dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide were released into the air.

Nearby schools that were closed Tuesday included:

  • Belden Elementary
  • Belle Stone Elementary
  • Canton College Preparatory
  • Crenshaw Middle
  • Gibbs Elementary
  • Imagine On Superior
  • Youtz Elementary

Any students living in the evacuation zone are also excused from class Tuesday, no matter which school they attend.

Air quality tests found the levels of the potentially dangerous chemical had dropped significantly.  At one point, levels registered at 53 parts per million, which was unsafe.  As of 10:45 a.m., the latest readings showed levels at zero in most areas.

Exposure to the chemical can be fatal in high levels.  At lower levels it can cause respiratory problems.

The evacuation zone had also been decreased to about a two-block radius, bordered by 23rd Street NE on the north, 19th Street NE on the south, Gross Avenue on the west and Harrisburg Road NE on the east.

Displaced residents had the option of taking temporary shelter at the Civic Center on Market Avenue North.

Both national and state representatives from the EPA and hazmat teams continued to monitor the situation as the building smoldered, throwing off heavy smoke.

The soil and water supply was also being monitored.

According to Convoy Containers’ website, the company has been closed since 2011; but some type of renovation may have been underway.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire and there were no reports of injuries.

(FOX 8's Brittany Harris and Kara Sutyak contributed to this report.)