Centralia, Pennsylvania is a coal mining town in the heart of Appalachian Mountains. In 1962 a trash pile on the side of the town lit a coal seam beneath the streets on fire. The fire has been burning ever since. In the past 50 years all but three houses have been relocated or demolished. Less than 10 residents live there now making it a veritable ghost town. On certain days, if you search hard enough, smoke can be seen billowing through cracks in the pavement.
Ashland, Pennsylvania is a coal mining town just 2 miles away from Centralia. It has been nearly unaffected by the fire. However, it is also the site of an old mine, remodled into a museum and coal mining tour. As like all of the towns in the area, Ashland's residents are all relatively poor. Homes fall into disrepair on every block and build up of coal dust makes many homes very dangerous and bad fire hazards.