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An in-depth View
Film and Song
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Mine Fire History
Visiting Centralia
Mine Fire Chronology
Satellite, Aerial Photos
360 Virtual Tours
Downtown Panoramic
Centralia Multimedia
Scientific Study
Memories of Centralia

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


IMG_0215b.jpg (116899 bytes)
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


  A Brief History of
The Centralia Mine Fire

(Borough of Centralia, Columbia County)

February 1996
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection


Centralia Pennsylvania - 1962

Centralia Mine Fire Chronology

May 1962.

· Fire Commences.

1962 ­ 1978.

· State and Federal governments expend $3.3 million

($10.8 million in 1994 $) to control fire with limited results.

1979 ­ 1982.

· The United States Office of Surface Mining (OSM) acquires 34 impacted properties and contracts for a study to determine its potential to spread.

· DER (i.e. DEP) initiates air quality monitoring program.


· OSM study estimates that $663 million is required to extinguish fire.

· A vital transportation link, Route 61, suffers severe subsidence damage from fire. DER stabilizes roadway at a cost of approximately

$0.5 million.


· U.S. Congress appropriates $42 million for voluntary acquisition and relocation of impacted businesses and residences due to dangers caused by fire (i.e. subsidence & noxious gases).

· Grant administration ceded to the state.

· Previously acquired properties transferred to Commonwealth.

1985 ­ 1991.

· 545 residences and businesses acquired and residents moved.

January 1992.

· The Centralia Task Force, with authorization from OSM, utilizes condemnation procedures to acquire properties and relocate remaining residents. This action is taken due to threat from noxious gases and subsidence.

1992 ­ 1993.

· Condemnation procedures initiated against remaining 53 properties.

· Property owners file preliminary legal objections to this action.

· Borough, as owner of minerals located under the municipality, brings suit against "de facto" taking of coal by condemnation.

· Route 61 closed indefinitely due to fire damage.


· Fire continues to spread.

· Total expenditure of funds is approximately $40 million ($53 million in 1995 $).

· County court denies property owners' objections (February 1994) and decides against Borough (November 1993).

· State Supreme Court also rules against property owners (September 1995) and Borough (December 1995).

· Federal grant's expiration date is currently set at December 31, 1997. This coincides with Commonwealth agreements' termination dates.

Comparison of Impact & Costs (February 1996)


  • 1962
    • Population of 1,100.
    • 545 Families and Businesses
  • 1996
    • Population of 46
    • 20 Families


  • Total
    • $30,802,640 (Relocation)
    • $4,702,758 (Administration)
  • Per Capita
    • $28,002 (Relocation)
    • $4,275 (Administration)
  • Per Household/Business
    • $51,529(Relocation)
    • $8,629(Administration)

Current Commonwealth Services (February 1996)

Department of Community Affairs

  • Public Works Administration.
  • Demolition of Vacant Structures.
  • Population Relocation

Department of Environmental Protection

  • Environmental Impact (i.e. Quarterly On-Site Monitoring of Fire)

Legislative Representation & Interested Parties

United States House of Representatives. (11th District)

· Paul E. Kanjorski.

Senate of Pennsylvania. (27th District)

· Edward W. Helfrick.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (107th District)

· Robert E. Belfanti, Jr.

Interested Parties.

· United States Congressman Tim Holden. (6th District)

· State Senator James J. Rhoades. (29th District)

· State Representative Edward J. Lucyk. (123rd District) 



Centralia Pennsylvania - 1962


What Centralia look like a few short decades ago?
Look at a set of comparison pictures from then and now.

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

To Read a segment from the book, follow this link.

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


Centralia Video Tour
Centralia PA tour of what is left of the town
in Infrared video
by Donald Davis


Centralia PA inspired the making of the movie Silent Hill  Read More 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.