Nearly 60 years ago, 100 homes were destroyed, as three different fires simultaneously burned through multiple Staten Island neighborhoods.
On April 20, 1963, also known as Black Saturday, a total of three large brush fires began in Rossville, Tottenville, and Mariners Harbor. In their wake, the fires caused more than $2 million of property damage and left over 500 people homeless. It was dry and windy outside when the first and largest brush fire ignited at around 10:00 AM on Arthur Kill Road in Rossville. Powerful 50 mph winds spread the fire east through Annadale and Huguenot, reaching as far as Hylan Boulevard.
At around the same time, a second fire began near the Tottenville beachfront, ravaging houses, a restaurant, and the South Shore Swim Club before stopping near Mount Loretto.