|Warning about the underground fire|
photo by JohnDS
In 1962, the town was using a (surface) strip mine pit as a landfill and set the dump on fire to clean the landfill (as they already done before). The fire was unfortunately not completely extinguished and an opening let it spread to the coal mines under the town (or something in the same vein, there is some disagreement on the story).
|Photo by CapturinG - HistorY|
All attempts to put out the fire have failed and in 1984, most residents relocated to nearby communities. About 500 buildings were demolished. Only paved roads and a couple of houses remind us of what this town once was:
|Centralia before the fire.|
Map by Vasiliy Meshkoh
Sources: Wikipedia, National Geographic