I swear sometimes I feel as if I just landed on this planet! I have news and information at my fingertips and yet I still can discover stories that have been in the public domain for years that have still some how eluded me.
Take for instance the story about the Pennsylvania town of Centralia that has been on fire since 1962! Amazing as that sounds it's completely true. Not an above ground fire, but an underground mine fire that began in 1962 and continues today. As a result of this disaster more than 1,000 people moved out, and 500 structures were razed under a $42 million federal relocation program.
Here's what happened, the fire began at the town dump and ignited an exposed coal vein. It could have been extinguished for thousands of dollars back then, but a series of BONE-HEAD bureaucratic moves and a lack of funding allowed the fire to grow into a hungry monster — feeding on millions of tons of slow-burning anthracite coal in the abandoned network of mines beneath the town.
At first, most Centralians ignored the fire. Some denied its existence, choosing to disregard the threat. But that changed in the 1970s, when carbon monoxide began entering homes and sickening people. The beginning of the end came in 1981, when a cave-in sucked a 12-year-old boy into a hot, gaseous void, nearly killing him. The town divided into two warring camps, one in favor of relocation and one that wanted kids to continue get sucked in hot, gaseous voids!
This is wild. So with a seemingly unlimited supply of fuel for the fire in the form of coal and oxygen, that fire could conceivably burn for...........EVER! And what about the relocatees? I wonder how difficult it was pick up and leave the only life you have ever known to be relocated in a different state or town? And it looks like the remaining dozenor so citizen hold outs are having their homes raized and are themselves going to relocate.