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Centralia, PA

Centralia, Pennsylvania is the site of an underground mine fire. Use caution when visiting.The former borough of Centralia is located in the heart of the anthracite mining region of Pennsylvania. In May 1962, a fire in a trash dump accidentally ignited the coal mine under the town. It has been burning underground ever since. Attempts to put out the fire over the years have been unsuccessful, and the population of 1,100 residents has since dwindled to a small handful.

I had read about Centralia several years ago in a magazine article and was intrigued. I couldn't believe that this fire was burning for so long and nobody could find a way to put it out. Being interested in abandoned places and ghost towns, I thought it would be an interesting place to visit—an opportunity to see a ghost town before it becomes one. So one year around Independence Day, while everyone else was off enjoying the usual holiday celebrations, I was hopping in my car and driving 300 miles to Centralia, to see fireworks of a different kind.

I've visited Centralia many times since then, and every year there's less to be seen as the town slowly vanishes. On this website, you'll find:

Remember to use caution if you plan to visit Centralia, the mine fire is still active!