Asked Questions History

Asked Questions History - BUREAU OF ABANDONED MINE...

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BUREAU OF ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION -1- The Centralia Mine Fire Frequently Asked Questions/Answers A. Centralia Borough and Mining History Questions: 1) Q: When was Centralia Borough founded? A: In 1811, a town known as “Bull’s Head” was established at the same location as Centralia Borough. Centralia Borough was officially incorporated in 1862. 2) Q: How big is Centralia Borough? A: Centralia Borough occupies approximately 155 acres. 3) Q: How many people lived in Centralia Borough before the start of the mine fire? A: Approximately 1,100 to 1,200 people resided in Centralia Borough in 1962 before the mine fire started. 4) Q: How many people live in Centralia Borough today? A: There were 5 property owners remaining in Centralia Borough as of January 2013. 5) Q: When did mining start in Centralia Borough? A: Coal was first mined in the Centralia Borough area in 1842 and the Centralia Colliery (mining complex) was opened in 1862. 6) Q: Is Centralia still a town or Borough? A: As of January 2012, Centralia Borough is still listed as a local unit for taxation purposes on the Commonwealth of PA Department of Community and Economic Development Web site ( Link to Centralia Borough Tax Information ). 7) Q: Where can I find photos of Centralia Borough before the fire started? A: An internet search should reveal numerous web sites that contain photos of Centralia Borough before 1962. 8) Q: How can I locate former residents of Centralia Borough to talk to them about their experiences? A: This is a privacy issue. The State does not provide such contact information. 9) Q: Does Centralia still have their own official U.S. Post Office and Zip Code. A: No. After September 18, 2003, the Centralia Zip Code ceased to be active. The Borough residents get their mail through the U. S. Post Office in Ashland, PA. B. Centralia Fire History: 1) Q: When did the fire start in Centralia Borough? A: The Centralia Mine Fire was first reported on May 27, 1962, just prior to Memorial Day. 2) Q: Where did the Centralia Mine Fire start? A: The Centralia Mine Fire was first detected in a surface mine pit just southeast of the Centralia Borough boundary near the eastern border of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery.( Link to Fire Location Map (pdf) )
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BUREAU OF ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION -2- 3) Q: How did the Centralia Mine Fire start? A: Because of the initial rapid and unexpected spread of the fire, there have been many plausible theories on how the Centralia Mine Fire got started. It has been most commonly reported that the Centralia Mine Fire first started in a municipal waste disposal area; it then spread to adjacent carbonaceous material and to nearby (underlying) underground coal mine workings. The most widely accepted ignition scenario is that the fire was intentionally set by Borough personnel. The fire may have been deliberately ignited to reduce the volume of trash, to reduce public health vectors and to reduce odors in preparation for visitors to the nearby cemetery before the Memorial Day Holiday. Some other theories concerning the
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