YSU’s Ward Beecher Hall Closed, Hazmat Team Called

UPDATE: At 10:33 a.m. the university released a statement that said an air compressor in the basement of Ward Beecher Hall malfunctioned.

The malfunction caused “smoke to infiltrate the building. The smoke is currently being cleared from the building.”

Ward Beecher will reopen at 11:30 a.m. Classes in the building will resume at noon.


Hazmat officials were called in to investigate a possible chemical leak at Youngstown State University’s Ward Beecher Hall after the Youngstown Fire Department investigated an alarm in the building.

Ron Cole, YSU’s public information officer, said at 8:18 a.m. the officials are not positive it was a leak.

Cole said although the fire alarm went off Tuesday morning, there was no fire.

“Because [Ward Beecher] is a science building, we have chemicals for labs and research,” he said. “Out of an abundance of caution, they decided to call the hazmat squad to go in and determine what, if anything, is going on in the building.”

Youngstown State University students received a Penguin Alert at 6:46 a.m. that stated fire officials were investigating an alarm in Ward Beecher Hall. Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

Ward Beecher classes are cancelled Tuesday, and the building is closed until noon out of precaution.

YSU issued a statement: 

“The Youngstown Fire Department is at Ward Beecher Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University to investigate a possible chemical incident. The building is closed. All 8 am classes in Ward Beecher Hall are cancelled. Students and employees are asked to stay clear of the building. The remainder of the university is open.”