Centralia Ghost Town | Pennsylvania Tragedy: May 27, 1962

On 27th May 1962, Centralia ghost town, Pennsylvania, faced such a phenomenon that the consequences of that event exist to date.

History of Centralia Ghost Town Mine Fire

What happened in Centralia, Pennsylvania? The citizens of Centralia were preparing themselves for their memorial celebrations that would take place the day after.

However, before the celebration, they had to deal with an issue that was cleaning up the landfill.

The city council meeting that was held earlier determined that they would be cleaning up the 300-foot wide, and 75 feet long mine, by putting it on fire.

Getting rid of the trash items by burning them was a common practice then.

centralia ghost town

However, the only concern is that the Centralia ghost town had been a huge coal mining zone in the past, and the mine was on top of an old coal mine. They set the landfill on fire using hosepipes.

They sprayed the flames to hold fire under control and waited until the trash was completely burnt. They had no idea they would be waiting for 55 years.

The fire snibbed onto an old coal layer from the mine, gradually spreading through the mines under the city.

Enterprise Many GEOs

Even though the flames were covered during the day on the 25th of May, more Centralia fire was seen on May 29th.

Working on extinguishing the fire and then discovering that the fire emerged again every other day continued for weeks.

And when there were no fire signs, locals constantly complained about the smell of trash and coal coming out of the pits.

centralia ghost town

The authorities tried everything to extinguish the fire for several years. They forced water into the mines frequently. They shrouded the surface with clay, trying to suppress the fire.

They forced a slurry of water, ash, and rocks into the mine; however, nothing worked. Ultimately, they had to give up due to having no choice. Later, the city was doomed.

Families were repositioned to nearby towns. After 2013, only 7 denizens’ were allowed to live in the city.

The streets’ exterior is no longer hot like before since the blaze has moved deeper into the earth.

In certain areas, you could still observe smoke emerging from the ground. Parts of Route 61 had to shut down and relocated since it wasn’t a safe passage to drive anymore.

And because coal generates lethal carbon monoxide, the air is also unsafe to breathe in specific areas.

Enterprise Many GEOs
centralia ghost town

Centralia Ghost Town Church

When the fire began, there were 5 churches in the Centralia ghost town. They vanished, one by one.

In 2015, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, ran a trip to a Pennsylvania church while on tour in the US.

Currently, the church remains in Centralia as of the recovered structure left. Former occupants pay their visit to the Centralia ghost town to only attend ceremonies at the church.

Father Michael Hustko proffers doughnuts and coffee to the worshippers after the ceremony.

view of the city

In the meantime, the government says that the fire could continue to burn for 100 years, and some people in the neighborhood don’t consider it a threat.

The church stands still on its rock-hard establishment as a symbol of strength and devotion. For the Centralia movie, click here


How has Centralia, Pennsylvania impacted the environment or human lives

The Centralia Mine Fire has caused harm to the environment in different ways. For example, it has led to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The fire has also resulted in the death of vegetation due to brush fires. Moreover, the ground around the fire has been heated more than usual, which is not good for the environment.

How long will Centralia burn

The Centralia Mine Fire is a fire burning underground in coal mines up to 300 feet deep (90 meters) and covering an area of 8 miles (13 kilometers) and 3,700 acres (15 square kilometers). The fire has been burning for a considerable period and may continue to burn for over 250 years at its current rate.

How did Centralia fire start

The Centralia Mine Fire started when people intentionally burned household waste in a strip pit that was left open after being dug around 1935. The strip pit was about 75 feet wide and 50 feet deep and had become a dumping site for the waste.

Centralia, Pennsylvania Silent Hill

The video game series is based in a made-up town called Silent Hill in the United States. This fictional town was inspired by a real town called Centralia, Pennsylvania. Nowadays, Centralia has only a small number of old and damaged buildings and a road slowly sinking into the ground.

Why can’t they put out the fire in Centralia?

According to experts, the fires beneath Centralia could continue burning for up to 250 years until they use all the coal fuel. However, the fires cannot be put out by firefighters because they are too deep and too hot.

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