20 years later, survivors and loved ones remember 100 lives taken at Station nightclub fire
WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — It has been 20 years since the Station nightclub fire where 100 people died and over 200 suffered severe injuries.
Survivors and loved ones gathered at the Station Fire Memorial Park to honor the lives that were taken and to bring awareness to the survivors that live with this tragic memory daily.
Survivor Gina Russo, who is president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation, visits the park weekly. She escaped the fire but lost her fiancé, Freddy.
“[Freddy] helped me get to that front door,” Russo said Monday. “I would have never made it had [Freddy] not pushed me and just screamed, ‘Go.’ That’s my last echo of him, and that’s what I hear. I am here because of him, and I live well because I have to.”
Russo wants visitors of the park to not only remember the lives that were lost, but also for people to never forget what happened in Rhode Island.
She remains grateful every day that she survived and wants people who have also faced tragedy in their lives to remember to push forward.
Dave Kane, father of Nicholas O’Neill who died at age 18 in the fire, said this is a day that one can never forget.
“We have to be open to our loved ones and know they are not lost, know that they are here,” he said. “When you think you hear something, acknowledge it because just like you wouldn’t leave them, they won’t leave you.”
Kane went on to say he wants people who come to the park to talk to their children about what happened and if they wanted to one day be an elected official or work for the fire department, that this memorial will remind them to do what is right.