Coal Fire Burning Underground Feared Threat to Residents

Associated Press

An underground coal fire discovered by children plunging sticks into the ground should be put out as soon as possible because it poses a threat to lives and property, officials said Wednesday.

State and local officials who surveyed the site on a wooded hillside overlooking a city street recommended that the U.S. Office of Surface Mining consider the fire an emergency and help keep it from spreading. The agency sent a representative to investigate.

The fire appears to be in waste coal from a nearby unmapped mine believed abandoned since the 1920s.