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Firestone students evacuated over natural gas smell

By Doug Livingston
Beacon Journal education writer

Students at Akron’s Firestone High School were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after school officials said a gaslike odor was detected inside the school.

Students left school at 2:15 p.m., more than an hour before the usual 3:25 p.m. dismissal, a spokesman for Akron schools said.

Parents have told the Beacon Journal that they found out about the possible gas leak from their children.

Neil Durbin, spokesman for Dominion East Ohio Gas company, said a main gas line running into the school and lines running throughout the school checked out OK and the school was cleared shortly after dismissal.

Students were allowed to re-enter the school to collect their belongings after the evacuation.

Durbin said no leak was found at a nearby regulator station, but he suspects that built-up gas pressure vented at that station could have been pulled into the school through a ventilation system.

“Our operations people are suspecting that perhaps there was an outside odor that got pulled into the school,” Durbin said. “[Pressure vented at the regulator station] might be what was drawn into the school.”

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or


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