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axisvideo

Centralia, PA has been burning since 1962

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CENTRALIA, PA

The Pennsylvania abandoned town that has been burning for over 50 years. On May, 27th 1962 the fire started and has been raging ever since. Exact details are sketchy about how the fire actually started but according to historical documents it states that burning trash from the landfill set an exposed coal vein in an abandoned strip mine on fire. The movie and video game SILENT HILL was based on this PA town.

This small coal mining town use to be home to over 2,000 people has now been just about completely abandoned, although a few residents still call this town home.

As of our last visit most of the houses and streets have been bulldozed and are reduced to a smoldering former shadow of themselves. You can see the toxic gas spewing from the cracks in the ground all over the area.

For just about 20 years firefighters have attempted to put out this massive fire but as it being underground and with seemingly an endless line of fuel that has proven very unsuccessful. Scientists state that there is enough coal to keep the fires burning for another 250 years.

Back in 1981 a 12 year old boy fell into one of the sinkholes and there have been growing concerns over the dangerous levels of carbon monoxide being released from the ground. After many years of this raging inferno burning underground it weakened the ground and caused the roads and concrete to crumble.

In 1993 Congress did set some $42 million aside to relocate the town’s residents and the abandoned houses and buildings were bulldozed. Stuck in controversy some of the residents refused to leave. As of 2011 there were 9 residents fighting the state of PA to not evict them from their homes and have their properties razed to the ground.

Commonwealth Court has denied another attempt by remaining property owners in Centralia to keep their land. Borough Council President Stephen Hynoski states that the fire has died down and the air quality of Centralia is the same as in Lancaster. He also has a suit pending in U.S. Middle District Court that claims the commonwealth’s devious plot of obtaining mineral rights t the anthracite coal that is supposedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The burning town of Centralia has been an odd sort of tourist attraction for years. Thanks for bringing this to people's attention.

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There are a bunch of other threads about this town on this forum.

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First I have heard of it. Thanks for bringing it up.

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