CANTON, OH (WOIO) - The Canton Fire Department declared an 'all clear' for residents evacuated due to a chemical reaction and fire in the city.
After consulting with EPA representatives and Stark County HazMat, it was discovered that the airborne limits dropped to safe levels. The fire department and the EPA, however, will continue to monitor air quality.
19 Action News has learned that workers were inside the vacant building once owned by Convoy Containers on 20th Street removing hardened sulfur from vats, when there was a chemical reaction on Monday evening. It began emitting the toxic vapors and eventually caught fire. The building was demolished. Shifting winds posed a danger to all nearby and also hampered fire fighting efforts.
Firefighters stayed back, using stationary hose mounts to pour water on the hot spots from an aerial platform high above. Sulfur dioxide was burning, it is highly flammable and caustic if inhaled.
A number of schools closed on Tuesday in wake of the fire. According to Tad Ellsworth, the Business Manager for Canton City Schools, Belden Elementary, Bell Stone Elementary, Gibbs Elementary, Youtz Elementary and Crenshaw Middle School all closed on Tuesday. Students who lived in the areas under evacuation were also excused from class on Tuesday, despite what school they attend.
Hundreds of people from 25th Street to 4th Street were ordered to evacuate due to toxic fumes concerns.