Berkley, VA Fire Leaves 500 Homeless, Apr 1922

One Hundred Houses Burned Near Norfolk

Norfolk, Va., April 13.-Nearly 200 homes were destroyed, rendering 500 families homeless, by fire which swept the negro belt of Berkley, a Norfolk suburb, late today. The damage is estimated at more than a million dollars. Several stores, two negro churches, two river steamers, a schooner, a house boat and a small factory also were destroyed.

Hundreds of negroes are sleeping tonight in the open air, while others are housed in a negro school building.

Norfolk, Va., April 13.-Berkeley, a suburb of Norfolk, was swept by fire today which destroyed more that 100 houses, covering an area one mile in length and averaging from two to four blocks in width. Five hundred families are estimated to have been made homeless and the damage will run to nearly a million dollars.

The blaze originated in the Tunis lumber mills on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River and three steamers in the river were burned, catching fire from sparks.

The fire quickly spread north. Most of the houses in the path were negro homes, of wooden construction.

Nevada State Journal, Reno, NV 14 Apr 1922