Here’s a neat video exploring Centralia Pennsylvania. The footage is from a 2002 segment on the Discovery Channel about what remains of the town.
The clip begins with some shots of the steaming burn zone in Centralia PA. This is followed by several individuals observing as water is poured onto rocks heated by the underground coal seam fire.
The rocks within the burn zone are extremely hot and the water immediately vaporizes into steam. Steve Jones, a geologist with the state of Pennsylvania, mentions that the fire within the mine might be as hot as 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Jones goes onto describe the current state of the fire in 2002. Against a backdrop of fallen trees and steaming ground, he mentions that the mine fire is currently burning under around 450 acres.
What follows is a nice history lesson about the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania and mines that once made the area prosperous during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The video contains some great footage of the buildings that were then still standing in Centralia PA in the early 2000s. This includes the Speed Spot which would suspiciously burn down later that year.
Towards the middle of the clip, David DeKok is introduced. He gives his perspective on the history of the town and the origins of the mine fire, which continues to ravage it today.
The footage goes on to show more of the burn zone within the borough, as well as abandoned Route 61 before it became covered with graffiti. There is also an excellent with Lamar Mervine, who was then 85 and still mayor of Centralia Pennsylvania.
The video ends with an interview of Dr. Dan Ressler. He’s a soil scientist who was studying the gas and other toxic emissions from the mine fire. In addition, he and his team were looking for signs of life, in order to determine what the future of Centralia might look like.