Small Columbia County Community Fears they are Centralia 2.0

WILBURTON NUMBER TWO, COLUMBIA COUNTY – WBRE is reporting… There are fears in a small Columbia County community that an underground fire burning near their community may turn into Centralia 2.0.  Centralia was left a ghost town by an underground mine fire that has been burning for some 60 years.

They want that underground fire put out sooner rather than later, saying they fear for their health and their homes.  “Pretty much everybody’s fed up with it. We’re just like a small community. It doesn’t seem like anybody really cares about us,” said Wilburton Number Two resident Robert Papp.

That pretty much sums up how people in this small community feel about the response to their concerns about an underground fire that is burning on Coal Company property that borders their community.

“It’s a lot of fumes coming up from the colliery, especially when it rains. We have intense fog. We’re getting carbon monoxide in our homes. It’s recommended to open your windows. It’s higher outside,” said Nancy Allen of Wilburton Number Two.

There was a video taken by a resident last Friday. She says it was smoke from the underground fire and it smelled like sulfur.  The I-Team spoke with Vince Guarna, the president of the Fox Coal Company. He showed us what is being done to put the fire out.

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