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Centralia PA Devils Fire

Updated on October 4, 2014

Graffiti on old Route 61

Image says it all
Image says it all | Source

The end of an era

The small town of Centralia, PA slid into decline in the late 1950's when deep mine coal mining operations stopped due to cost and reduced demand for anthracite coal. In 1962 an underground mine fire ensued, possibly as the result of routine burning of town rubbish. In any event, the mine fire spread, and the town was eventually declared unsuitable for living and was taken over by eminent domain by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There have been many suggestions that a fire was intentionally started by mining interests for the sole purpose of taking over the town so they could strip mine it (Centralia was the only town in Pennsylvania to take advantage of a 1950 law passed permitting towns to purchase the underground mineral rights.) Accident or conspiracy by the mining companies? You decide for yourself.

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