I posted this last year on the 12th anniversary of The Station Fire. I changed 12 years to 13, other than that it’s the same. If you are the praying type, please keep the victims and survivors in your prayers, if not, I just close my eyes and find a peaceful place in my mind, and remember that night. As horrific as it was, and is, 100 souls deserve to be remembered by the people who still walk the same earth that they should be a part of.
Thirteen years ago today firefighters from West Warwick, RI, a town about ten miles from Providence did everything they could to save the victims of The Station Nightclub Fire. One Hundred people died, and hundreds more were injured.
I spent twenty-three years as a firefighter/EMT in Providence, RI, eleven of those years as a front-line firefighter. During that time I was present as twelve persons burned to death or died from smoke inhalation while I did everything I could to get them out. A family of five huddled by their front door, inches from salvation but seconds too late to escape the heat and flames that started when their Christmas tree ignited. Two toddlers left to fend for themselves while their mother went for a drink one Sunday afternoon. An old man dead in his bed when his cigarette stayed lit longer than he stayed awake. Murdered bodies burned beyond recognition by their murderers who tried to conceal their crime. A man found alive in his basement but dead before we got him to the ER. A twelve year old girl who didn’t get out.
Knowing that I did all I could-all of us did all we could and it wasn’t enough is difficult to process. Losing a loved one is impossible.
Thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families, and the firefighters who tried to save them.
This is what happenned. I watched it twice, live as it was happenning and again a few years later. I tried to watch it again this morning, in a weird way to honor the victims. I had to turn it off after a minute.
Rhode Island is a small world where everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who was there. Seeing familiar faces in the crowd who never got out was just too much to bear.