After 50 years, fire still burns underneath Pa. town
Approaching Centralia, PA. Here's where the state cut old highway 61 and re-routed the traffic because of a long-burning coal mine fire that broke through here, buckling the road and rendering it forever unusable.
In 1979, locals became aware of the scale of the problem when a gas-station owner and then mayor, John Coddington, inserted a dipstick into one of his underground tanks to check the fuel level. When he withdrew it, it seemed hot, so he lowered a thermometer down on a string and was shocked to discover that the temperature of the gasoline in the tank was 172 °F. Statewide attention to the fire began to increase, culminating in 1981 when a 12-year-old resident named Todd Domboski fell into a sinkhole 4 feet wide by 150 feet deep that suddenly opened beneath his feet in a backyard. His cousin, 14-year-old Eric Wolfgang, pulled Todd out of the hole and saved his life. The plume of hot steam billowing from the hole was measured and found to contain a lethal level of carbon monoxide.
Silly him...I never go anywhere unarmed.