“Analysts disagree about the specific cause of the Centralia fire. Writer David Dekok concluded that it started incident to cleanup of the town landfill. In May 1962, the Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip-mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery just outside the borough limits. This had been done prior to Memorial Day in previous years when the landfill was in a different location.
On May 27, 1962, the firefighters, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire and let it burn for some time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not fully extinguished. An unsealed opening in the pit allowed the fire to enter the labyrinth of abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. According to a legend, the Bast Colliery coal fire of 1932 was never fully extinguished. In 1962, it reached the landfill area.
Few homes remain standing in Centralia. Most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished by the Columbia County Redevelopment Authority or reclaimed by nature. At a casual glance, the area now appears to be a field with many paved streets running through it. Some areas are being filled with new-growth forest. The remaining church in the borough, St. Mary’s, holds weekly services on Sunday. It has not yet been directly affected by the fire. The town’s four cemeteries—including one on the hilltop that has smoke rising around and out of it—are maintained in good condition.”
At least six people have died after an “unprecedented” fire ripped through a residential tower block in west London.
Twenty people are in critical condition. Seventy-four people have been treated and admitted to at six hospitals across the capital, the London Ambulance Service said.
The PM is “deeply saddened” by the “tragic” events. Sajid Javid, secretary of state for communities and local government, will chair an emergency Cobra meeting today.
The fire brigade was first called at shortly before 1am on Wednesday to Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, north Kensington, London. Emergency responders were on the scene within six minutes.
Forty-five engines, 200 firefighters, and 100 medical personnel attended the scene, in addition to a number of police officers. Fire crews have reached the 20th floor, and a structural engineer, as well as urban search and rescue advisers, is monitoring the building.