Centralia, PA Coal Mine Fire, Jul 1879

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Burning Coal Mine.

A Loss of $200,000 Caused By A Fire In A Coal Vein At Centralia.

Centralia, Penn., July 16.-The vein of coal at Provost’s colliery is still burning fiercely together with the dirt and rock banks. The mine is being flooded now, but with poor prospects of overcoming the flames, which gained considerable headway during the night, and are now endangering the workings of the Continental and Hazel Dell Mines, which are only divided from the burning vein by a pillar of coal 30 feet thick. Should the workings take fire this town would be ruined. Several valuable pumping engines were destroyed, together with the breaker, office, and all buildings except the stables. The loss is estimated this morning at $200,000. The beaker was insured with Provost and Herring, of Philadelphia, but to what amount is not known here. Just before the fire commenced a car-load of miners, who were descending into the pit, made a narrow escape from destruction, receiving a timely warning from two boys who saw the flames.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 Jul 1879