As we approach the 10 year anniversary of The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, RI, that killed 100 people, NFPA takes a look at how some local media outlets are covering this somber occasion.
Solemn crowd remembers Station fire victims, looks to build memorial
from the Providence Journal, February 17, 2013
Cradling fresh flowers in the bitter cold, hundreds of people gathered at the site of the Station nightclub Sunday afternoon fire to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy by remembering the lives lost and focusing on preserving the spot as a memorial.
"This is holy ground for us," said Rick Moreau, whose 21-year-old daughter, Leigh Ann, was among the 100 people who died in the Feb. 20, 2003 blaze.
Moreau and his wife, Jean, had traveled from their Connecticut home for the memorial service where Governor Chafee acknowledged that a decade has not dimmed the grief for many survivors or families of those who perished. Read entire article.
Finding life 10 years after the Station nightclub fire
from The Boston Globe, February 16, 2013
by Mark Arsenault and Eric Moskowitz
The cake is lush and bright and perfumes the room with the scent of lemon. “Happy Birthday Nicky,” it reads in baby-blue cursive.
Nick O’Neill’s family is gathered for his 28th birthday, in late January, at the home of his mother, Joanne, and father, Dave Kane. Cornbread and chicken are warming in chafing dishes. Nick’s 3-year-old nephew, Asher, darts among the mingling grown-ups, shouting “peek-a-boo!”
Nick died 10 years ago in The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I. But his parents still give him birthday parties. They speak to him every day as though he’s in the house, coming and going and very much alive. They detect messages from him on passing license plates, and in the flickering light in the dining room. It’s Nicky checking in, they say when the bulb inexplicably lights up. Read entire article.
Deadly Station Nightclub fire remembered 10 years later
from WCVB.com, Boston
At least 100 survivors and family members of the 100 people killed in a Rhode Island nightclub fire paid tribute to their loved ones Sunday on the 10th anniversary of the disaster.
During a 1 p.m. ceremony, the names of the dead were read aloud and Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Gov. Don Carcieri made remarks.
"Being here brings it all back," Carcieri said.
Those who attended the service braved the bitter cold and snow, bringing flowers and balloons to decorate crosses representing each of the victims. People broke into tears as they embraced each other, many so overcome they were unable to speak. Read entire article.
For some local Station nightclub fire survivors, the scars won’t heal
From The Easton Journal, February 17, 2013
The scars on John Fairbairn’s body have faded during the 10 years since he suffered severe burns in the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I. But the emotional scars are still raw.
“It was ugly,” the 41-year said from the kitchen of his Brockton home. “You just felt that heat and you heard those screams.”
One hundred people died in the fire on Feb. 20, 2003, including nine with local ties. The club was packed that night for a show by the rock band Great White. Seconds into the show, on-stage fireworks ignited the walls and the club was engulfed in flames.
Fairbairn and his wife Andrea were among those who got out, but just barely. They were among the last people to be pulled from the pileup of bodies at the front door of the club as it burned to the ground. The couple has since separated. Read entire article.
Fire investigators say Station nightclub blaze turned deadly in seconds
from The Taunton Daily Gazette
February 16, 2013
People began to die within minutes after a fire started inside The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., on the night of Feb. 20, 2003.
The National Fire Protection Association of Quincy and the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology studied the fire that killed 100 and injured 200.
All the studies agree that the fire went from minor to deadly 2 minutes after it started. Five minutes after the start of the fire, it was a tragedy.
To establish a timeline, investigators relied on video recorded by a photographer from Channel 12 in Providence, who was doing a story with Jeff Derderian, one of the bar owners who was then a reporter at Channel 12. Derderian was at the bar to do a story on safety at nightclubs, officials say. Read entire article.
Photo Exhibit Highlights Nightclub Fire Tattoo Tributes
from Boston CBSLocal
A special photo exhibit is on display in Pawtucket, Rhode Island this weekend in honor of the 100 people who died in the Station Nightclub fire.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the February 20, 2003 fire, the Pawtucket Armory has been transformed into a memorial.
It features a photo exhibit of tribute tattoos that many victims’ family members had inked.
There are also 100 white butterflies hanging from the ceiling; each contains the name of one of the victims. Read entire article.
Four writers on the tragedy that disfigured Rhode Island
from The Boston Phoenix, February 13, 2013
It's been 10 years since fire tore through a roadhouse in West Warwick — killing 100, injuring 200 more, and singeing thousands of New Englanders whose mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends died inside The Station or never quite figured out how to live outside of it.
There are so many individual stories to tell — stories of heroism and suffering and failure. But the Phoenix decided to pull together four Rhode Islanders who could offer up a global view.
John Barylick, Gina Russo, Paul Lonardo, and Marilyn Bellemore all wrote books about The Station fire. And together, their work begins to answer some of the larger questions surrounding the club and the tragedy. Read entire article.