Before 1962, Centralia, Pennsylvania, was a prosperous borough in the Bloomsburg-Berwick area of Pennsylvania. Today, Centralia is almost completely abandoned. You might even justifiably call it a ghost town.
So, what happened there? A slow-burning mine fire was accidentally started in 1962, and still burns today. This catastrophe forced nearly all residents from the area. In fact, the vast majority of town land has been claimed by the state under eminent domain, and the buildings are mostly demolished.