12-year anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire

Families, friends and New Englanders took a moment to remember the loved ones they lost on February 20, 2013. (Photo: Susan Campbell/WPRI)

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Friday marks the 12-year anniversary of The Station Nightclub Fire. The February 2003 fire claimed the lives of 100 people, and injured more than 200 others.

Ground for a permanent memorial should be broken in the spring and one leader of the committee says that the new memorial will help with the healing process.

Loved ones and those who were touched by the tragedy braved the cold and brought flowers to the site of the fire on Friday.

Jody King’s brother died in the tragedy and he said that every year the pain sneaks up on him. “I get the rush every year. I think it’s going to go away, and I woke up this morning and the rush was there,” he said.

The blaze on Feb. 20, 2003 left 100 people dead when pyrotechnics for the band Great White set fire to insulating foam on the walls throughout the club. It was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in American history.

A memorial service was planned for last week, but had to be postponed due to the wintry weather. Station Memorial Foundation president Gina Russo said that the service will be rescheduled soon.

Robin Petrarca of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation was in the club that night, and she said that the day is difficult every year. Petrarca lost eight friends in the fire.

“It’s a very raw wound and I think that’s why we need to complete this project. I think it will bring more closure,” she said.

According to Robin, the foundation has the money to complete the first phase of the project but will need to raise a lot more to finish the $2 million memorial. She said that the site is too important not to memorialize.

“To those of us that it touched very deeply, its hallowed ground,” she said.

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