How Did Mine Fire Ruined Centralia

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Centralia was once a small, Pennsylvanian mining community whose population once reached 2,700 people. Presently, the population consists of eight citizens who will be the last people to ever officially reside in the town. One year ago, these eight residents earned this right through a lengthy court case. When an underground mine caught on fire in 1962, the population of the town had already dwindled to approximately 1,400 people. Once the mine fire gained the attention of the media, the town began the process of evacuating its citizens. The consensus in regards to the cause of the fire is "the volunteer fire department's annual burning of landfill" which ignited an inactive coal mine. ("How an Underground Fire Destroyed an Entire Town," Ella Morton) The Centralia Mine Fire has been burning for fifty years, and its effects are still evident in the former active mining town. The fire decimated the town due to the fact that the original blaze caused a chain reaction. As Dina Spector writes, "the fire spread throughout a labyrinth of coal mines beneath the town, creating a giant underground inferno." ("Tour The Pennsylvania Ghost Town That's Been Burning For 50 Years") The extent of the damage to…show more content…
(Spector, page 1) Naturally, the evacuation of the town has led to the streets devolving into overgrown pathways of cracked gravel/pavement. (Spector) Following the Dombowski incident, the Centralia Mine fire caught national attention; "...Congress set aside more than $42 million to relocate residents." (Spector, "Tour The Pennsylvania Ghost Town That's Been Burning For 50 Years") Starting in 1981, Centralia truly began to crumble, both literally and figuratively. With the relocation of most of its citizens, the population of Centralia "fell from 1,017 in 1980 to 21 in 2000. Centralia lost its ZIP code in 2002." (Morton, Page

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