Science: Fire Under the Streets

Not many coal-mining towns are pure-aired health resorts, but Carbondale, Pa., 15 miles northeast of Scranton, has a special problem. Deep under the streets of a good-sized part of the town (pop. 14,000), a stubborn fire has burned for 13 years, defying half measures to put it out. Fumes seep out of the ground, creep into homes and stores. The soil underfoot is always warm; grass stays green in the dead of winter; and roses bloom in December. Carbondale people do not enjoy these distinctions, and last week they were looking forward to getting rid of them. At long last, the...

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