In 2001 the last remaining commercial building in Centralia, Pennsylvania stood at the corner of Center Street and Locust Avenue. This is the corner where Route 61 meets Route 42.
The three story structure once housed The Speed Spot, a motorcycle shop once owned by Centralia resident David Lamb. Lamb was one of the leaders of Concerned Citizens Action Group Against the Centralia Mine Fire. This organization worked within the community, as well on the state and federal level, to raise awareness of the fire and fight for a resolution.
After being acquired by eminent domain by the State of Pennsylvania, The Speed Spot would most certainly have been demolished. However, it met a premature end in 2002. On December 21 of that year, the building mysteriously caught fire and burned to the ground.
While the circumstances of The Speed Spot fire were never solved, many suspect it was arson committed by vandals. In fact, on the site DamnedInteresting someone posted in 2007 claiming that a group of friends entered The Speed Spot one night and were “messing around.” By doing so, they accidentally set it on fire.
The Speed Spot is another interesting tale in the sad history of Centralia, PA. Today, little of it remains except for a grass covered lot, along with a truck bearing the name and phone number of the former motorcycle shop. No one has ever been charged by police with setting it on fire.