BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) – The distinct smell of gas sent school officials and local facilities into an immediate evacuation in Bellaire today. We were on scene during the situation and have all the details you need to know as of right now.
Calls came flooding in around 9:45 this morning complaining about smelling gas in Bellaire. Officials say that same smell was even reported across the river in Marshall County. Fire, EMS, and police took normal protocol, and evacuated Bellaire high school, St John’s high school and Grade school, and Indian run preschool., as well as a nearby senior living home. But officials say there might not have been a leak at all.
We can confirm that no gas leak was found at Bellaire High School. The smell was widespread, and we think it came from somewhere else. We encourage people to call 9-1-1 if a gas smell is detected.DAVE RAU – COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, COLUMBIA GAS
That “somewhere else” may have been something that came down the river, or possibly even a truck that left a valve open. Columbia gas combed the scene with the help of the Bellaire police, fire, and ems.
EMA came out, just to help us out. We may be getting a hold of the EPA. They’ll put some sensors through town and sensor the air and see what’s going on. They’ll leave them out for 24 to 48 hours. They’ll come back and read it and let us know what’s going on.TIM BALL – AST. CHIEF, BELLAIRE FD
People at the Carnes Senior Living center were evacuated to the Salvation Army but are now back home. St. Johns and Indian run were also able to go home, but as for Bellaire High School–
At approximately 12:30 pm, Columbia Gas cleared the High School for reentry. At that time, the high school students and staff were transported back to Bellaire High where they remained for the duration of the school day. Mr. Jenkins and the other members of the administrative team wish to thank everyone involved for their cooperation and patience. All Bellaire Schools will be in session on a regular schedule tomorrow.DARREN JENKINS -SUPERINTENDENT
Crews are still unsure where the root of the gas smell came from and will monitor the area.