After a few weeks of reading about Centralia and its history, it really got our interests peaked in going to check this town out. For anyone who doesn't know anything about this place here is a few facts about the area.
The story began sometime in 1962 along the outskirts of town when trash was burned in the pit of an abandoned strip mine, which connected to a coal vein running near the surface. The burning trash caught the exposed vein of coal on fire. The fire was thought to be extinguished but it apparently wasn't when it erupted in the pit a few days later. Again the fire was doused with water for hours and thought to be out. But it wasn't. The coal then began to burn underground. That was in 1962. For the next two decades, workers battled the fire, flushing the mines with water and fly ash, excavated the burning material and dug trenches, backfilled, drilling again and again in an attempt to find the boundaries of the fire and plan to put the fire out or at least contain it. By the early 1980s the fire had affected approximately 200 acres and homes had to be abandoned as carbon monoxide levels reached life threatening levels. An engineering study concluded in 1983 that the fire could burn for another century or even more and "could conceivably spread over an area of approximately 3,700 acres." Most of the homes were condemned and residents were relocated over the years with grants. A very few number of residents still live there to this day.