Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In Memory Of "The Station" Fire: 2003 - 2013

Dear Readers:

On a freezing cold February night ten years ago, the lives of Rhode Islanders (USA) were forever changed, when a local nightclub called "The Station" was engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. The sparks started just after 11:00 PM, when soundproofing material was ignited by an indoor fireworks display; and within minutes fire engulfed the entire building, killing 100 people and injuring countless others. That so many survived is truly miraculous; that so many died is a tragedy beyond understanding. The scars the survivors bear are both physical and emotional.

The Station Nightclub Fire was one of the worst nightclub fires in U.S. history, and the worst nightclub fire in Rhode Island history. At the time, it was referred to as "our own personal 9/11". Being such a tiny state (we are approximately the size of the country of Luxemborg) it can seem like everybody knows everybody else; and if you do not know someone, you know somebody that they know or to whom they are related. Not a single Rhode Islander went untouched by this tragic - and preventable - event.

For the small part that I can play in remembering those lost in the fire, I am re-posting this column from last year. As it did last year, this column is posting at 11:07 PM (the time of the first sparks) to commemorate the memory of those who died in The Station Fire; so that those who live may never forget, and so those who never knew may now hear.

The names of the fallen are:

Louis S. Alves, 33, of Lincoln
Kevin Anderson, 37, of Warwick
Stacie Angers, 10/14/73 Worcester MA
Christopher Arruda, 30, of Coventry
Eugene Avilez, 21, of Burlington, MA
Tina Ayer,33, of Warwick.
Karla Bagtaz, 41, of Randolph, MA
Mary H. Baker, 1/26/71 Fall River MA
Thomas Barnett, 38, of West Greenwich.
Laureen Beauchaine, 35, of West Warwick.
Steven Thomas Blom, 38, of Cranston.
William Christopher Bonardi, Lincoln RI
Kristine Carbone, 38, of Taunton, Mass.
Richard A. Cabral Jr., 37, of Attleboro, Mass.
William Cartwright, 42, of Pawtucket.
Edward B. Corbet III, 31, of West Warwick.
Michael Cordier, 31, of Westerly.
Alfred Crisostomi, 38, of Providence.
Robert Croteau, 7/13/71 Fall River MA
Lisa D'Andrea, 42, of Barrington.
Matthew P. Darby, 36, of Coventry.
Dina Ann DeMaio, 30, West Warwick
Albert Anthony DiBonaventura, 18, of North Dighton, Mass.
Rachel DePietro (Florio), 31, of Providence.
Christina DiRienzo, 37, Plymouth, Mass.
Kevin J. Dunn, 3/25/65 Attleboro MA
Lori K. Durante, 40, of West Warwick.
Edward Ervanian, 29, of Cranston.
Thomas Fleming, 30, of Worcester, Mass.
Rachael K. Florio-DePietro , 31, of Coventry.
Mark A. Fontaine, 2/12/81 Johnston RI
Chief Petty Officer Daniel Frederickson, 37, of Coventry.
Michael Fresolo, 5/20/70 Worcester MA
James Gahan, 21, of Falmouth, Mass.
Melvin Gerfin, 46, Groton, Conn.
Laura Gillet, 32, of Pembroke, Mass.
Charline Elaine Gingras-Fick, Pawtucket RI
Michael James Gonsalves, 40, of Warwick.
James Gooden, 37, of Cranston.
Derek Gray, 11/4/80 Dracut MA
Pamela Gruttadauria, 33 Johnston, RI
Scott "Skott" Greene, 35, of Warwick.
Scott Griffith, 41, of West Warwick.
Bonnie L. Hamelin, 27, of Warwick.
Jude Henault, 37, of Lisbon, Conn.
Andrew Hoban, 22, of North Kingstown.
Abbie L. Hoisington, 28, of Cranston.
Michael Hoogasian, 31, of Cranston.
Sandy Hoogasian, 27, of Cranston.
Carlton "Bud" Howorth III, 39, of Norton, Mass.
Eric James Hyer, 32, Coventry
Derek Brian Johnson, 3/29/70 West Warwick RI
Lisa Kelly, 27, of Swansea, Mass.
Tracy F. King, 39, of Warwick.
Michael Joseph Kulz, 5/1/72 Warwick RI
Keith Lapierre, 29, of Worcester, Mass.
Dale Latulippe, 46, of Carver, Mass.
Stephen M. Libera, 21, of North Kingstown.
John M. Longiaru, 23, of Johnston.
Ty Longley, 31, of Northridge, CA
Andrea Mancini, 28, of Johnston
Keith A. Mancini, 34, of Cranston
Steven Mancini, 6/20/63 Johnston RI
Judith Manzo, 37, of North Providence.
Thomas Marion Jr., 1/17/76 Westport MA
Jeffery Martin, 12/9/69 Melrose RI
Tammy Mattera-Housa, 29, of Warwick.
Kristen McQuarrie, 1/13/66 Coventry RI
Thomas Medeiros, 40, of Coventry.
Samuel Miceli, 37, of Lisbon, Conn.
Donna M. Mitchell, 29, of Fall River, Mass.
Leigh Ann Moreau, 8/25/81 Providence RI
Ryan M. Morin, 6/8/71 Alston MA
Jason Morton, 38, of West Greenwich.
Katherine O'Donnell, 26, of Seekonk, Mass.
Nicholas O'Neill, 1/28/85 Pawtucket RI
Matthew James Pickett, 2/10/70 Bellingham MA
Carlos L. Pimentel Sr. 38, of West Warwick.
Christopher Prouty, 34, Pawtucket
Jeffrey Rader, 32, Danville, CAE
Teresa Rakoski, 30, of Taunton, Mass.
Robert L. Reisner III, 29, of Coventry.
Walter Rich, 40, of Attleboro, Mass.
Donald Roderiques, 46, of Mashpee, Mass.
Tracey Romanoff, 32, of Coventry.
Joseph Rossi, 35, of Pawtucket.
Bridget Sanetti, 25, of Coventry.
Rebecca "Becky" Shaw, 24, of Warwick.
Mitchell Shubert, 39
Dennis Smith, 36, of Pawtucket.
Victor Stark, 39, of West Yarmouth, Mass.
Benjamin Suffoletto, 43, of Glocester.
Linda Suffoletto
Shawn Sweet, 28, of Pembroke, Mass.
Jason Sylvester, 24, of Coventry.
Sarah Jane Telgarsky, 37, Plainfield CT
Kelly Viera
Kevin Washburn, 30, of Franklin, Mass.
Everett "Tommy" Woodmansee, 30, of Charlestown.
Robert Daniel Young, 29, of Taunton, MA

I thank you for taking the time to remember them.


Addendum: Sadly, the lessons learned from this tragedy have already been forgotten, and another nightclub fire - even more devastating - has claimed the lives of hundreds in Brazil. There are no words to express the sorrow felt for those affected. I feel as though offering my sympathies is too small a gesture...like trying to sop up the ocean with a Kleenex; know that they are offered just the same.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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