Dreams and nightmares: Station Nightclub survivor recalls days following historic fire

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Mar 22, 2016


If you haven't read the first installment of Rob Feeney's experience during The Station Nightclub fire in 2003, please do. It's a well-written, albeit horrific, account of the night that turned Feeney into an advocate for fire sprinklers. In this latest installment, Feeney recalls what he experienced--or thought he experienced--immediately afterwards as the truth about his fiancé, also at The Station the night of the fire, unfolds:


I don’t remember if I lost consciousness on the way to the hospital or if I was given something to knock me out. I do know I was intubated and placed in a medically induced coma for about 10 days. During that time, I had what I called morphine dreams. It took me years to figure out what were dreams and what was reality.

These dreams were a combination of people and events from my past and events in my hospital room. There were friends from elementary school. My brother made frequent appearances, which was strange since I had only seen him once or twice over the past decade before the fire. There were other relatives, celebrities I had never met. There was also a lot of fire. A lot of chaos. A lot of violence and a lot of pain. I was always trying to get somewhere to get help, but would always be trapped.

I didn’t dream about The Station Nightclub, but places like Boardwalk and Baseball, an amusement park in Orlando I visited when I was 16. In my dreams, it burned down as I was on a roller coaster alone. I also dreamt of the Burger King at the Route 6 rest area in Hyannis, Massachusetts, but this time it was a movie set. I was auditioning for a part. It also burned down. No matter who I was with or where I was, everything turned into a war zone around me. Houses and buildings I was in would burn down. Roads I drove and walked down wound up being surrounded by fire.


In my dreams, I would eventually make it to the hospital. There was one dream where a part of the hospital where animals were treated was on fire. My relatives were in the hospital dreams. There were fights and violence in the hospital segments. At one point, a fight in an overcrowded ER escalated into it being set on fire. Many people were trapped. I was rushed down a hallway into another room. Then the dreams changed. They became more reflective of the reality going on around me as I was awakening from the induced coma.


Read more of Rob's story by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.