In 1981, the city of Centralia in Pennsylvania had more than a thousand souls. Until 2010, only ten people lived there. – It still remains – it was almost a ghost town.
So where did they all go?
Well, Centralia is on a network of abandoned coal. For reasons that are not yet fully clear, the mines caught fire. While there is no solid evidence – and other theories have been outlined – most believe the fire was burned by local authorities (it was in an abandoned band mine) and failed. to turn it off properly.
Regardless of how the fire started, stopping once became impossible. It entered mining pits and continued to burn underground in the 1960s. s and 1970s & # 39; s. All attempts to disappear were unsuccessful. However, most people in Centralia went on with their lives as usual – they were unaware of what was happening under their feet.
Then, in 1979, that began to change.
The owner of his gas station, John Coddington (who was also the mayor of Centralia at the time), included in his underwater tank tanks to measure how much gas was left. When he pulled the stick out, he was surprised that it had a warm touch. So he took the thermometer and lowered it into the tank using a piece of string. When he pulled that off, he was shocked that the fuel in the tank was 172 ° Fahrenheit!
Coddington & # 39; hot gasoline caused awareness of the dangers of fire.
This reached its peak in 1981, when 12-year-old Toddy Domboski was playing in the back yard, suddenly falling into a hole that opened under his feet. The sink hole was four meters wide and 150 meters long, and leaked feathers of hot steam that had lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Thanks to 14-year-old cousin Eric Wolfgang, Toddy safely emerged from the sink hole.
For most people, though, it was the beginning of the end for Central.
In 1984, Congress allocated $ 42 million to relocate the town's residents. The vast majority accepted the offers to buy their properties and for the most part – moved to nearby towns like Mount Carmel and Mount Ashland. In 1992, the state of Pennsylvania proclaimed a huge dominion over all Centralia properties, and then demolished all the buildings that were there. Ten years later, the US Postal Service officially canceled Centralia & # 39; s ZIP Code (17927).
Today, there are very few houses left in Centralia. Nature has been demolished or overwhelmed. Over the years, the visible signs of the ancient town have become increasingly difficult to detect.
Meanwhile, 50 years later, an underground fire broke out and now covers an area of more than half a thousand square feet.
Despite all this, some residents are still resisting their efforts to sell or evict their properties, but Centralia's future is assured.