Litterbugs, trash can thieves hit Station Fire Memorial Park

Workers finalize details at a memorial in West Warwick, R.I., on Friday, May 19, 2017, at the site of The Station nightclub fire that killed 100 and injured more than 200 people in 2003. The memorial is scheduled to open during a ceremony Sunday. (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith)

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The memorial park dedicated to the Station Nightclub Fire victims has been diminished and dirtied by litter, and the problem is compounded by someone who stole trash cans from the park.

Gina Russo, the president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation, told Eyewitness News Wednesday she was disheartened by how the park has been treated.

“We did have trash bins up” until Tuesday, Russo said on the foundation’s Facebook page; “apparently [they] were stolen from the property. I don’t know if the town will replace them.”

Cigarette butts have been discarded all over the park, which was formally dedicated May 21. Russo expressed concern that a butt tossed away in the current hot conditions could possibly spark a fire.

Russo told Eyewitness News she’d been at the park for the past three days cleaning up. She’s now consulting landscapers to get the park cleaned up and tidied — including pulling weeds.

“I cannot and will not be the only one who will take care of this park,” Russo said in the Facebook posting. “It belongs to all of us and I would hope you wouldn’t want your loved one disrespected…

“Please help keep our Angels park beautiful. We waited so long for this and it has to be a community effort.”