50th Anniversary of Staten Island's Great Fire of 1963 Known as "Black Saturday"

Andrew J. Lanza

April 19, 2013

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1963 which burnt down a large portion of Staten Island’s South Shore. On April 20, 1963, severe fires struck Staten Island, destroying more than 100 homes and ultimately resulting in $2 million in damages. While no deaths resulted from the disaster known as “Black Saturday,” 36 people were injured, 500 were left homeless and countless businesses, sheds, cars, livestock and pets were lost. A constituent of mine shared this photo of her home at 754 Rossville Ave. She said, “We did not lose our house thanks to one lone fireman with maybe 1/3 little stream of water as he stood by our house spraying the roof. It was a very horrible day I will never forget.” Today, let’s take a minute to remember all that was lost on “Black Saturday” 50 years ago.