Survivors of the Station Nightclub fire are outraged that some people are not respecting their sacred grounds. Some trashing the memorial and even stealing garbage cans from the parking lot.
Survivors spent well over a decade making the memorial a reality, now less than two months after its dedication, they're picking up the trash others are leaving behind.
Gina Russo spent years dreaming about the day she would be able to walk the grounds of a permanent memorial in the place where she lost her fiance, and where she nearly lost her own life. But now, she says her visits are less about reflecting and more about cleaning up trash others leave behind.
"I drive around with trash bags because I have to clean it up. I didn't work this hard to make it become a dump," says Russo.
Her hands ache from spending the last 3 days cleaning but the feeling that others don't respect the sacred grounds is much worse.
"It's hard to come out here and see that someone doesn't have that same kind of respect for our 100 that passed away and why would you want this beautiful place that I thought we all wanted to turn into a dumping ground," she questions.
Landscapers weeding and doing the normal upkeep are finding the same problems. In one day picking up enough trash to fill half of a garbage can.
"Cigarette packs, cigarette butts, beer cans, soda cans potato chips just junk," just some of what Bill Abrahamson with Yard Works has been picking up.
"People are smoking leaving their cigarette butts all over the place. Don't litter on property we consider to be sacred ground not to mention it was caused by a fire," says Russo.
Now a bigger issue, the corners of the parking lot where trash barrels used to sit are empty, those barrels stolen overnight.
Russo's simple plea, that everyone pitch in to keep the memorial as beautiful as it was the day it was dedicated.
"We have to work together to keep it nice," she says.
West Warwick police were stunned when we told them about the trash can thefts and littering and said they'd look into the problem.