94HJY Deejays remember "Dr. Metal" killed in Station fire - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

94HJY Deejays remember "Dr. Metal" killed in Station fire

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By: Andrea Medieros


The 10 year anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire is Wednesday. On that day a decade ago, 100 people were killed. Among them, a popular radio deejay, Mike Gonsalves.

One of his co-workers, who was with him that night, Steve Scarpetti, survived.

Today, WHJY deejay Steve Scarpetti sits in the seat where his good friend sat for 16 years.

Mementos of Mike Gonsalves, or Dr. Metal, are still in the studio, a decade after the beloved deejay died in the Station Nightclub fire. Scarpetti was in there with him introducing the band Great White.

"I said I'll see you in a couple minutes and I walked towards the back of the club, the band started playing and by the time I got back and turned around, the smoke was so thick that it hit us. It was just a blanket coming at us and it came with in seconds," said Scarpetti.

Scarpetti remembers how fast the fire spread, "I say 5 or 10 seconds it came at us, and the last couple of feet trying to get out we were crawling on our hands and knees, and just using our hands to try and find that open door."

Once most of the HJY crew got out safely, Scarpetti called former deejay Jim Stearns who was on the air at 94 HJY's Providence studios.

Stearns recalls the phone conversation from that night, "He was like there's a fire. I can't find Doc. I thought it was just a little fire at first, and then people were calling up, and he called back, and just gave us a graphic description of what happened and it was pretty tough."

41 year old Dr. Metal was Stearns' mentor, and when The Doc was missing for hours and then days, the station program director had to deliver the news on air, Stearns was there.

"I was emotionally upset trying to talk. You're trying to talk to people and I was crying. I couldn't talk half the time," said Stearns.

Stearns and Scarpetti don't cry now, but they still don't like to go back to the Station Site, where an aging cross is left for Dr. Metal.

Instead, they heal over the airwaves doing what Doc liked to do best.

"All I can do now is his show, and remember how he did it, how it taught me how to do it, and be able to make him proud and keep that tradition going," said Scarpetti.

"No I can't believe it's been ten years. It seems like just yesterday, I mean I can still hear his voice," explained Stearns.

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