WATCH | In 1962 a coal mine beneath the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, caught on fire. It has been burning ever since and no one knows how long it will burn for. The town had more than 1,000 residents in the early 1980s. Today there are just four people living there.
All real estate in Centralia is under eminent domain so the few people that still live there can live out their lives there, but once they die their property will belong to the government. All the other houses in Centralia have been demolished.
There were many dangers to living in Centralia. The first were the lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Another was the mine subsidences, where the ground would just open up and you could fall in.
In the early 1990s steam started coming out of the ground along Route 61. The road was shut down and a new road on Route 61 bypassed the town. The closed-down area attracted people spraying graffiti.
There is a lot of graffiti, which makes Route 61 an interesting place to check out, but it is still a dangerous place to visit.
The fire is still watched and maintained to this day, but there are no plans to extinguish it.
David DeKok wrote a book detailing the entire history of the Centralia fire called "Fire Underground."
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