A Fire That Never Dies

There was a period in my younger days when I became fascinated with epics disasters, and read about them almost to the exclusion of anything else. Pompeii. Chicago Fire. San Francisco Earthquake. Krakatoa. Most of the books were okay-ly written. The pick of the disaster crop of was (and remains) David McCullough’s account of the Johnstown Flood. I’ll bet that man can make a great read of his Christmas thank-you notes.

In any case, last night I was reading BBC articles when I came upon a story about a disaster I had missed. And one that is still ongoing: the mine fire that turned Centralia, Pennsylvania, into a virtual ghost town. I use the term “virtual” because it seems a handful of people, inexplicably, still live there.

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