Here’s a 2005 WGAL report on Centralia, Pennsylvania. It includes an interview with former mayor, Lamar Mervine, as well historic footage of the town from the 1980s.
The video begins by looking at the history of anthracite coal mining and how it led to the rise of Centralia in the 1800s. From there, it shows a reporter walking down Locust Avenue (Route 61) in winter with snow on the ground. One house is visible in the background along with the municipal building.
At the time of the report, there were six homes and eleven residents in Centralia PA. What follows is some excellent historic footage of Saint Ignatius church, showing the interior and exterior of it. It also reveals the church being demolished in 1997.
Next, shots of the municipal building, firetruck, and ambulance are shown. The reporter continues to walk around town, describing the history of Centralia Pennsylvania. Because it is winter, the steam from the mine fire is especially visible.
Towards the middle of the video segment, the efforts to fight the mine fire and relocate the residents of the town are touched upon. The best part of this segment is footage of Centralia from the 1980s. A nice clip of Locust Avenue is shown with homes still standing. Though, this is followed by buildings in the town being demolished.
There’s a short interview with Lamar Mervine. At the time the news report was shot, he was Centralia PA’s mayor. The video cuts to some wide shots of the borough. It also focuses in on the infamous warning sign the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania erected to keep visitors away.
The report wraps up by recounting the story of Todd Domboski, who fell into a steaming hole caused by the mine fire in 1981. This includes some historic footage of the town too. It ends by showing a few parting shots of Centralia in 2005 and paints a sad picture of the borough’s future.