Leadership

Coal Bed Fire Threatens Pa. Town After Burning Underground 19 Years

Issue 9 and Volume 134.

Coal Bed Fire Threatens Pa. Town After Burning Underground 19 Years For the last 19 years a fire has been burning out of control in Centralia, Pa. More accurately, the fire is under Centralia. The town was built over a vast bed of coal covering 94 square miles, and 140 acres of that underground fuel are burning. No one knows how or when the fire will be extinguished. Centralia has been a mining town almost continually since 1842, although it dwindled after World War II. The coal under the town is some of the hardest anthracite ever mined. Fire department not called The long-lived fire was discovered in May 1962 in a waste disposal area operated by the borough southeast of the town, near the entrance to the Buck Mountain coal bed. But the fire department was not called. Borough workmen tried to put out the fire with water and…

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