CENTRALIA, Pa. (AP) — The few remaining residents of a central Pennsylvania coal town that was decimated by a 50-year-old mine fire have settled their lawsuit against state officials who have been trying for years to evict them.
The settlement allows eight Centralia residents to stay in their homes for as long as they live. Their attorney, Don Bailey, said Thursday that it also includes a cash payout.
The mine fire began in 1962 and spread underneath the town, threatening residents with poisonous gases and dangerous sinkholes. By the end of the 1980s, more than 1,000 people had moved and 500 structures demolished under a $42 million federal relocation program.
But some holdouts refused to go, saying the fire posed little danger to their part of town.