Attendees at the opening of yesterday's Station Fire Memorial Park in West Warwick, RI. Photo courtesy of Providence Journal.
A new Station Fire Memorial Park was unveiled yesterday in remembrance of the Station nightclub fire that occurred in West Warwick, RI, on February 20, 2003. The tragic incident resulted in the deaths of 100 people. According to the Providence Journal, the new park features 10 circles of 10 monuments, each inscribed with the name and a portrait of one of the 100 people who died in the fire; a crowd of between 500 and 750 attended the dedication ceremony marking the park’s completion.
The Journal also reported that WJAR-TV news anchor Gene Valicenti served as emcee at the event, recognizing not only the people who died in the fire, but also those who survived or lost a loved one, as well as the first responders and others who fought to save lives in the fire’s aftermath.
The Station nightclub fire - the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in history - prompted NFPA to enact tough new code provisions for fire sprinklers and crowd management in nightclub-type venues. Provisions requiring fire sprinklers in all nursing homes, in new construction of one- and two-family dwellings, and in all new construction of nightclubs and like facilities, as well as for existing nightclubs and like facilities with capacities over 100, have since been applied to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code®. These provisions mark sweeping changes to the codes and standards governing safety in assembly occupancies.
Below is a video from Robert Feeney, a Station nightclub survivor who talked about his experience and how it later led to his work as a sprinkler advocate: