9 Years Later, Rhode Island Remembers Station Nightclub Fire
It is an emotional anniversary for many in Rhode Island. Today marks 9 years since 100 people died in the Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick. The fire was sparked by pyrotechnics set off by the headlining band.
Evidence of the time gone by since that tragic night on February 20, 2003, is all over the makeshift memorial where the Station Nightclub once stood. The pictures are weathered. The crosses faded, but the flowers and the memories are fresh.
“It's horrible. It's a horrible way to die,” Caroline Telgarsky said. “I just miss her a lot.”
Her sister Sarah Telgarsky was one of the 100 people who died in the fire, listening to the band Great White as they set off pyrotechnics during their set. Seconds later, the entire building was engulfed in flames.
The names of all of the victims were read aloud, but one person who was not there to hear it, was the father of the Station Nightclub fire's youngest victim. Nick O'Neill was 18 years old.
“People walk up to you and say oh, I didn't mean to bring it up, like you've forgotten,” Dave Kane said.
He and his wife spent the day at home grieving alone. For them, the ninth anniversary of their high school boy's death is only a painful reminder of how long it's been.
“The families who are most damaged by it, continue to live the damage every day,” Kane said. “It doesn't stop.”
The grief still feels the same, but the event has changed those who lost loved ones.
“You see a siren or hear the ambulance or you hear the word station. The word station doesn't even have the same meaning anymore,” Telgarsky said.
As the time passes, they say the spirits of their loved ones live on.
“It's not the same as hugging your boy. It's not the same as smelling his hair,” Kane said. “But he's here. He's here.”