CANTON -- Five schools are closed Tuesday after a nearby overnight industrial fire sparked an evacuation of the immediate area.
A message posted on the Canton City School District's website says, "Due to the chemical reaction and fire and subsequent evacuation and restricted access to portions of the NE side of the city, the following closing/student and staff absence scenario is in effect for Tuesday, September 17, 2013:
- Belden Elementary School
- Belle Stone Elementary School
- Youtz Elementary School
- Altitude Academy at Crenshaw
- Gibbs Elementary School
School officials say any other students living in the immediate area of the chemical fire are also excused from attending any schools in the district that remain open.
All employees who reside in the evacuated and restricted areas are advised to follow normal attendance/absence procedures.
The fire began late Monday at a former packaging business on 19th Street at Harrisburg Road.
The building, which was previously housed by Convoy Containers, was reportedly being rehabilitated.
Fire officials evacauted the immediate area out of concern that sulfur dioxide was emitting into the air from containers inside the building.
The evacuation order was lifted by noon Tuesday.