Steam seeps up through the ground in Centralia, Pa., on Jan. 13. The steam is caused by a fire that began in 1962 at the town dump and ignited an exposed coal vein, eventually forcing an exodus of more than 1,000 people, nearly the entire population of the mountain town. After years of delay, state officals are trying to finish their demolition work in Centralia. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Todd Domboski in Centralia, Pa., looks over a barricade at a hole he fell through hours earlier in 1981. The hole was caused by a mine fire that was burning since 1962. AP/FILE
Retired Centralia Postmaster Tom Dempsey is seen with Centralia, Pa. behind him as steam continues to rise out of the ground. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Centralia, Pa., is seen here on Jan. 13, 2010. Carolyn Kaster/AP
A sign on the entrance of the Centralia Municipal Building in Centralia, Pa., reads 'Keep Centralia on the map.' Carolyn Kaster/AP
A wooden painted heart with the words 'To Centralia with love, from Kingston, N.Y.,' is seen in an open lot in Centralia, Pa., on Jan. 13. Carolyn Kaster/AP
In 1981, the US Bureau of Mines' John Stockalis (r.) and Dan Lewis drop a thermometer through a hole on Main Street in Centralia, Pa., to measure the heat from a shaft mine blaze that burns under the town. Paul Vathis/AP/FILE
Smoke rises from the ground in Centralia, Pa., where a mine fire continues to rage in 1983. Rusty Kennedy/AP/FILE
Retired Centralia Postmaster Tom Dempsey is seen in his Girardville, Pa. home on Jan. 13. Dempsey lived and worked in Centralia for over 29 years. Carolyn Kaster/AP
While officials agree that conditions are much improved in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, it's unclear if this Ebola outbreak could have been responded to quicker, with less cost and suffering.
ByKrista Larson and Maria Cheng, Associated Press
A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of loved ones to halt the spread of the virulent disease.