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A commemoration of the 1813 burning of Buffalo and Black Rock will take place Saturday, when bonfires will be lit on both sides of the border in memory of the events connected with the War of 1812, event organizers said.

Large bonfires will be lit in both Fort Erie and Buffalo to commemorate the devastating burning of the city, which took place Dec. 30, 1813, 199 years ago this month, said members of the Fort Erie 1812 Bicentennial Committee.

In 1813, British soldiers set fire to homes and neighborhoods in Black Rock and Buffalo in retaliation for American attacks in the area of Niagara-on-the Lake earlier in the month.

Few buildings in Buffalo survived the fires, and some Americans died in the attack, as did some British.

The Village of Lewiston was also attacked by the British and largely destroyed.

The “Flames Across Niagara” event this weekend is the third annual commemoration.

“More than 300 people attended last year’s event,” said John Sek, a committee member in Fort Erie. “We hope to have even more come out this year to take part in the commemoration of the burning of Black Rock.”

The bonfires will be lit starting at 6 p.m.

A large fire will be lit in Fort Erie on the Old Coal Docks, at Jarvis Street and Niagara Parkway. Another large fire will be lit at the same time on Squaw Island in Black Rock.

For more details on the event, or on War of 1812 bicentennial commemorative events in general, visit the websites www.discover1812.com or www.FortErie1812.ca.

email: cvogel@buffnews.com