The fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in US history, occurred on Thursday, February 20, 2003, in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The usage of pyrotechnics set off by the headlining band’s tour manager ignited plastic foam, which was used as sound insulation in the walls and ceilings surrounding the stage. It only took 5 and a half minutes for the fast-moving fire to engulf the club, its intense, billowing smoke making escape impossible. That night, the horrible accident killed 100 people and injured 230 individuals. 132 others were lucky enough to escape the fate of their friends and remained uninjured physically. Still, emotional, post-traumatic stress was reported for all those present at the scene.
Initially, the flames were thought to be part of the act, as the song’s music video also demonstrates a show of flames blazing, yet only as the fire reached the ceiling did people realize it was uncontrolled, then the band stopped playing and its vocalist approved what was feared in everyone’s minds – “Wow… that’s not good.” In less than a minute, the entire stage was engulfed in flames.
The Station nightclub fire happened more than 14 years ago, and in March 2017, a memorial park was dedicated to the victims of the fire. At least 500 people walked into the Station Fire Memorial Park, a memorial to The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick. At one point of the opening ceremony, one hundred high school students each carried a rose for the victims. The service featured live music, and attendees were asked to remember the survivors. The victims’ names were read aloud.
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.”