Centralia: City on Fire

In eastern Pennsylvania, USA, the town of Centralia remains as a near-ghost town with a population of 10 residents who refuse to leave. Most of its buildings, schools, and services have been demolished and nearly nothing is left of this somewhat dead town. Before May 27th,1962 it was known as a coal mining town until a fire broke out in one of the underground mines after a landfill was purposely burned. The fire seemed to have never been successfully extinguished, posing a great risk for the 1000 residents of Centralia at the time. People were able to put the fire out above ground but the tremendous amount of burning occurring in the underground maze is almost hopeless. The 8 mile mine has been spreading for more than half a century now, expected to burn for another 250 years. No plans have been made to stop it. Smoke currently emerges from cracks in the roads and sinkholes are known to spontaneously open up in the ground. The main health risk that arises in the town is carbon monoxide poisoning due to all of the underground burning in the mining tunnels. Centralia and its highway has been closed off after major damage that is too costly to fix. Today the town is known as a tourist attraction, despite the 4000 acres of underground damage that the inferno has caused.
By Shahd El Naggar