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Panoramic Virtual Tours:

Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside

Knoebels Amusement Park (only 15 miles from Centralia!) 
Ghost Towns
Area 51 - Groom Lake
Abandoned PA Turnpike
Defunct Amusement Parks
Abandoned Places


Photo Updates:

Centralia in HDR

July 2006 360? Virtual Tour of Downtown Centralia PA

Centralia's Neighbor:
Byrnesville, Pa

Zeisloft's Mobil
Gas Station

July 5th 2008
Centralia PA

Centralia PA 2008
January Photos and 
commentary by
Donald Davis

2006 Photos

2005 Photos
of Centralia


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2004 Photos
of Centralia

2003 photos

of Centralia

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2002 photos

of Centralia

360 Degree Virtual Tours of Centralia PA

Fire In The Hole
by Kristie Betts
A fictional story based on Centralia

The Little
Town That Was

by Donald Hollinger


RESIDENTS TO SAVE THE BOROUGH OF CENTRALIA - FACT SHEET #6 - MARCH 1984 - This "Fact Sheet" was transcribed from a photocopied, original March 1984 newsletter from a Centralia organization called "Residents To Save The Borough Of Centralia".  Read the News Letter here

130th Anniversary
of the 1877 Shamokin Uprising and the Great Railroad Strike .. Read More


Centralia Today
A Photo Documentary
of Centralia today.


Mine Emergency Response Program
Details from the
Mine Rescue Manual


Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People,
Government and the Centralia Mine Fire

The Fire

From the book: Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire  
by David DeKok

Early 1962 a decision was made to use an old strip mine near the odd fellows cemetery as a landfill. Under new state regulations the old landfill needed to be closed. This new site, if worked properly could serve Centralia for years.

The mining pit had several holes in the walls and floor from previous mining attempts. According to Department of Mines and Minerals Industry (DMMI) these holes would need to be filled with incombustible material. That way if there was a fire it would not spread to near by mines. The holes were sealed and the pit was inspected. Apparently everything was ok because the state permit #WD-443-R was issued.

Many stories have surfaced as to what happened that summer of 1962, but ultimately one thing is for sure, A fire happened in the landfill. After many attempts to extinguish it, it kept resurfacing. After a few days the firemen made an astonishing discovery. There was a hole almost 15 feet long and several feet high at the base of the North wall of the pit near the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was concealed beneath the garbage and was not sealed with the incombustible material.. The hole led into the old mines and is more than likely the way by which the landfill fire spread into the coal mines.

The Fire was reported to the proper authorities and steps were taken to extinguish it. Unfortunately it was not. The garbage began to smolder, and foul odors were drifting into the near by St. Ignatius Church which prompted many complaints.

The President of the Independent Miners, Breakerman, & Truckers, an organization of men who ran small mines and coal- hauling business, was called. They organization was often called to organize emergency mine fire projects.

After looking at the situation he called an engineer at the DMMI Office in Pottsville, described what he saw and told them he could dig out the burning material with a steam shovel for about $175.

The office of DMMI said such a project would have to go through proper channels. Even though it was known that quick action must taken, he said he was sorry but there was nothing he could do.

In mid-July, A routine inspection of the landfill was made. Despite the fire, Centralia council had continued to allow dumping in the pit. Now not only was the garbage again on fire but there were small amounts of steam curling out of the cracks in the North wall. A state mine inspector was called in to inspect the situation and bring his gas detection equipment. The Amount of Carbon Monoxide found concluded that the old mines were indeed on fire.

At this point letters were drawn up and sent to Lehigh Valley Coal Co. To inform them of the fire and another to Secretary Evans in an appeal for State aid in putting out the fire. A copy of the letter survives in the State Archives in Harrisburg.



Award-winning journalist David DeKok tells, for the first time, how the Centralia mine fire really started in 1962. He shows how local, state and federal government officials failed to take effective action, allowing the fire to move underneath the small town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. By early 1981, the fire was sending deadly gases into homes, forcing the federal government to install gas alarms. A 12-year-old boy dropped into a steaming hole in the ground wrenched open by the fire's heat on Valentine's Day as the region's congressman toured nearby. DeKok tells how the people of Centralia banded together to demand help from the government, finally winning money to relocate much of the town. 

For more information and how to find this book, Click Here



  Mine Fire History Mine Fire History Historical Photos
  Pictures From Today Mine Fire Chronology Visiting Centralia
  Centralia Then & Now 360? Virtual Tours Scientific Study
  Satellite, Aerial Photos Downtown Panoramic Centralia Books


Other Interesting Things




So you want to Visit Centralia PA?  What you should know before you go to Centralia PA.


The Real Disaster Is Above Ground: A Mine Fire and Social Conflict



What's near Centralia?

Plan your visit around one of Pennsylvania's best kept secrets located only 15 miles up the road from Centralia...

Amusement Park

Click Below for
 more details...

Amusement Park


Silent Hill & Centralia
Centralia PA inspires screenwriter Roger Avary during the making of the movie Silent Hill.
Read More Here...


Remembering ...
Byrnesville PA
By Mike Reilley

  Books about Centralia
  Maps of Centralia
  Around Town Today
  Local Attractions
  Personal Notes
  Additional Reading
  Haunted Centralia?
  Gerry McWilliams and
  the album "Centralia"
  Silent Hill Inspiration
  Other Mine Fires
  Search Centralia
  Centralia Sites/Books
Panoramic Virtual Tours:
Mine Fire Hot Spot
Downtown Centralia Mainstreet Centralia Damaged Hillside
  Centralia Infrared

Centralia PA in B&W Infrared
Infrared Photography
by Donald Davis

Video Tour
in Infrared of
Centralia PA
by Donald Davis


The Little Town That Was
by Donald Hollinger
Made in U.S.A. - 1987 movie that was filmed on location in Centralia PA See the opening Scene that started in Centralia during the peek of the mine fire disaster



Is Centralia Haunted?
Explore the possibility

The Real Disaster Is Above Ground: A Mine Fire and Social Conflict

Is there Hope
for Centralia?


Through the use of Nitrogen-Enhanced foam the Pinnacle mine fire was extinguished by Cummins Industries, Inc.  Cummins proposes to tackle the Centralia Mine fire and bring an end to the 
40 plus year fire.

Read this White Paper which evaluates the effectiveness of remotely applied nitrogen-enhanced foam to aid in efforts to isolate and suppress a mine fire.