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Memorial Park Honors Victims Of 2003 Rhode Island Nightclub Fire

A memorial at the site of The Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in 2003 was dedicated on Sunday in West Warwick, R.I.
A memorial at the site of The Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in 2003 was dedicated on Sunday in West Warwick, R.I.

The Station nightclub fire happened more than 14 years ago, and on Sunday, a memorial park was dedicated to the victims of the fire.

On Feb. 20, 2003, the rock band Great White was playing in the club in West Warwick, R.I., when pyrotechnics ignited flammable soundproofing foam. The building was quickly engulfed in flames.

In the end, 100 people were killed and more than 200 injured.

The effort to honor the victims of The Station nightclub fire with a memorial took more than a decade.

The 1-acre park, named Station Fire Memorial Park — includes a courtyard, gardens and granite monuments with the names and birthdays of every victim.

As hundreds of people began arriving for the dedication ceremony, a band was playing.

The Providence Journal reports:

"Gina Russo, 49, who was burned so severely in the Feb. 20, 2003, fire that she has endured 62 surgeries and who lost her fiancé that night but didn't learn of his death until a few weeks after she was awakened from a medically induced coma, opened the ceremony with an appreciation of the upbeat tunes.

"'You brought music back to the Station,' she said as the band left the stage, actually a pavilion at the back of the park that houses a timeline of events leading up to and resulting from the tragedy."

Former Gov. Don Carcieri called the fire the "state's worst tragedy." It is listed as among the deadliest nightclub fires in U.S. history.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.