Timeline: Station Nightclub Memorial; 14 years in the making - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Timeline: Station Nightclub Memorial; 14 years in the making

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It's been 14 years since the horrific Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick and finally there is permanent memorial for all of the 100 victims. The memorial will be dedicated in their honor on Sunday.

"I hope everyone has that feeling of, oh my God it's finally done, I can finally let go and come to a place and feel what I should feel,” said Jody King whose brother was killed in the Station nightclub fire.

It was February 20, 2003 when pyrotechnics set off by the band Great White sparked one of the deadliest nightclub fires in U.S. history.

Four months later, as the investigation into what happened dragged on the Station Fire Memorial Foundation was created.

"We really want desperately to see a permanent memorial erected here,” said Chris Fontaine whose son was killed in the fire when we spoke to her in 2006.

In the years to come several people would face criminal charges. The club's owners, Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, would plead no contest to 200 counts of manslaughter in 2006. That same year the band's tour manager, Dan Biechele, plead guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter.

By the third anniversary of the fire the effort to build a memorial was trudging forward. The problem at that point was that the land caught was up in civil proceedings.

"I've heard on many occasions that they are interested in donating the land.  However, they are a litigant in the civil suit right now,” said Kimberly Jalette the former President of the Memorial Foundation back in 2006.

It wasn't until 2012, nine years after the fire, that the land's owner would donate the property. In September of that year, crews broke ground on the memorial.

The next year, at the 10th anniversary there was some renewed hope among survivors and the family members of victims.

"Our hundred Angels deserve a proper memorial and it's starting.  Baby steps, but it's starting and it's all good today,” said survivor Lisa DelSesto in 2013.

That same year, crosses and mementos were removed from the property, the land was fenced in and renderings were released.

In 2014 mounting money problems led the Station Fire Memorial Foundation to hire a professional fundraiser.

"It's just a matter of time,” Jodi King told us in 2014.

In 2015 the fundraising efforts continued while construction was scaled back on the original plans.

By October of 2016 the $2 million fundraising goal was finally met.

"Some anonymous donors have stepped up,” said survivor Gina Russo.

Fast forward to May of 2017, now with a permanent memorial built the emotions are unmatched.

"To see that it is finally here is just mind–blowing to me,” said Russo.

The dedication of the Station Memorial is this Sunday afternoon. ABC 6 will be streaming it live here on our website starting 2 pm.

(C) WLNE 2017

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