Canton Fire Department and Dominion Energy Ohio workers were not able to confirm it was natural gas.

CANTON  A possible natural gas odor hung over parts of Canton and northern Stark County on Wednesday, prompting dozens of calls from concerned residents and puzzling investigators trying to pinpoint the cause.

Dominion Energy Ohio technicians and city Fire Department personnel were not able to find any gas leaks.

"We received numerous calls and have field technicians out trying to track this down," Neil Durbin, spokesman for Dominion Energy Ohio, said Wednesday evening. "So far, we have not been able to confirm it is natural gas. We know it is something. But we can't pinpoint it is natural gas."

Dominion Energy Ohio started receiving notices around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. Durbin refereed to it as an "airborne-odor complaint," meaning it was outside rather than inside a building.

The gas-like odor was noticeable in the downtown area late Wednesday afternoon and early evening.

"We had multiple calls come in," said Battalion Chief Jeff Magee of the city Fire Department. "Some people smelled it inside their homes. We went to investigate. There were more people outside that were noticing it than inside. There was nothing we could find. Even though you could smell it, we couldn't pick it up on our monitors."

Reports of the odor eventually spread to Plain Township, Jackson Township North Canton and into Green. There also were reports of a natural-gas odor Tuesday evening, according to Magee.

"It seemed like the call volume moved throughout the city," Magee said. "It started in the south end of Canton. You could tell by the way the calls came in, it moved north."

Reach Malcolm at 330-580-8305


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