The Station Fire Web log - Week four
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(To read chronologically, start from the bottom
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Journal coverage (reg. req.)
the Smoke and the Flames: Andrea J. Stewart, news editor of the
Rhode Island College
Anchor, was injured in the fire, and lost four friends that night.
This is her story.
Mother's Premonition: By Katie Haughey at the Westerly
Donovan P. Williams, 32, likes rock music, NASCAR racing, camping and
the Dallas Cowboys. However, the pony-tailed father of three hasn't
been able to enjoy any of that since he went to see the 1980s metal
band Great White a month ago.
Williams, who was raised in Westerly, has been in Massachusetts General
Hospital with burns over 65 percent of his body for the last month.
The wounds are so severe and so painful, that doctors have kept him
in a medicated coma.
Benefit moves: A Sat., March 29 benefit concert for the victims
and survivors of the fire has moved from Poirier VFW Post in New Bedford
to Hawthorne Country Club, 970 Tucker Rd., North Dartmouth, Mass. (directions)
The organizers are the family of John F. VanDeusen III, who
remains in critical condition in R.I. Hospital.
The same bands are expected to play: The bands: 3 Feet Short (Ska/Punk);
Awake (Godsmack Tribute); Big Daddy And The Accelerators (Blues/Soul);
Crossfire (Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute); Downdrive; Eminance; Falling 2
Nowhere (Punk/Metal); Govt Cheese (Rage Against The Machine Tribute);
Losing Streak; Penpingle; Shipyard Wreck (Blues/Rock).
More info: (508) 994-5796 - ask for Leo or Dawn
Poll: Reaction To Nightclub Tragedies Split: Billboard reports
Of 2,636 voters in a recent Billboard.com poll, 56% admit that the
fire that burned the Station in West Warwick, R.I., killing 99, and
the mass exodus from E2 in Chicago that left 21 dead have changed their
attitudes when going out.
Those are broken into two groups, with 43% admitting they are now more
aware of their surroundings and more likely to take note of emergency
exits when in such venues. A much smaller group of 13% say they are
now less likely to patronize small nightclubs due to safety concerns.
Conversely, 44% said they believe that recent tragic events were isolated
incidents and have not affected their behavior when patronizing nightclubs.
RI Fire Update (from Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston): Last Patients
Discharged in Good Condition. Dated yesterday,
Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has discharged the remaining two
patients the hospital had been treating since they were admitted following
the nightclub fire in (West) Warwick, Rhode Island. A total of eight
patients, who first arrived on Friday, February 21, were originally
admitted to BWH.
fire haunts Strum: This is from a column from the Las Vegas Review
Journal that begins,
Reading about the first, inevitable wrongful death lawsuit filed against
the band Great White last week made me wince a little. I figured it
would make Slaughter bassist-manager Dana Strum wince a lot.
Strum makes some interesting comments about Great White and Jack Russell:
survivor counts blessings, awaits discharge from hospital: From
the Las Vegas Sun, a story about William Long, road manager for Trip, the
band that toured with Great White and opened for them. He was discharged
Sunday from Rhode Island Hospital.
Any band touring in February -- when fans are tapped from the holidays
and northern roads tough to travel -- is one that basically lives on
the bus, carving out as many as 300 shows per year. ...
...After the fire, "I ran in my mind the movies of how many guys
tried to sell us pyro or talk us into it," Strum says. Being self-managed
always made the group a little more cautious.
But to tour on that scale, you delegate authority. If Great White singer
Jack Russell had a tour manager of some tenure, "he'd have every
reason to believe the pyro was tested," Strum says.
"He was going to do a regular show and relied on the people around
him. Now he'll never have a regular day in his life again."
At the hospital, he met fellow fire victim David Malagrino, 36, a bartender
in Westerly and a regular at the club. They commiserated, while doing
their best to focus on the future.
"We feed off each other on a daily basis," Long said. "We've
helped each other move on."
He also met a Warwick man, Bob Sevigny, whose kindness and compassion
he said "was heaven sent."
Sevigny had showed up at the hospital with magazines, looking for a
way to help anyone.
"They brought me right to Bill's room, he was covered in ointments,
wrapped up in all kinds of petroleum on his neck and body," Sevigny
Sevigny helped Long eat at first and shared his excitement when he
was able to hold a soda can on his own.
"I didn't know anyone here," Long said. "He's made such
an amazing difference."
New York Times has also profiled the pair. (reg req.)
Minutes in Hell: The
Station fire killed ninety-nine and destroyed one of hard rock's last
refuges: Rolling Stone's account of the fire.
The crowd looked like it always did inside the Station, a roadhouse
in blue-collar West Warwick, Rhode Island, on Thursday night, February
20th, 2003. Standing in the back, a tall metalhead named Adam Tanzi,
23, drew on a four-dollar Heineken. Close by, Jay Gates, 37, an off-duty
drummer in a popular Van Halen tribute band, Diver Down, ordered a Bud
draft. Waiting in line for the men's room was Dave McDonald, a Roger
Daltrey look-alike who sings in an outfit called Who's Next. That was
the vibe at the Station -- musicians mining Eighties hard-rock nostalgia,
together with their loyal fans, and no boundaries in between.
Pyrotechnics Guild International:
The site includes
a statement about The Station fire that begins,
Our sincerest condolences go out to those who have suffered loss in
this terrible catastrophe
We take this opportunity to point out that proper use of proximate
pyrotechnics by trained professionals is both safe and enjoyable. These
devices are used at over ten thousand events annually without harm to
audiences. If well established safety precautions are followed, this
proper use as outlined below is inherently very safe.
images haunt photographer: Old (March 3) but interesting story
from the Boston Herald about Dan Davidson, who shot the only still photos
inside The Station that night.
Lupo's benefit set for Thursday: Max Creek, Duke Robillard, Tanya
Donnelly & Bill Janovitz, Rizzz and Ricky Valente, will play at Lupo's
Heartbreak Hotel, 239 Westminster St., Providence. starting at 6 pm to
raise money for The Station fire victims.
A $20 donation includes a buffet and admission to The Met Cafe next
door. There'll also be a rock & roll auction at 8:30 pm. More
info here or call 272-5876.
His parents, Phil and Barbara Barr, have posted another of their Monday
updates on the condition of Bates College junior Philip Barr of Lincoln.
Philip’s condition improved significantly over the past seven
days. He is fully alert, his spirits are good, and he is focused on
regaining his health. The doctors continue to expect that he will make
a full recovery.
Philip’s respiratory system continues to show signs of healing.
Most importantly, he has been breathing independently since Thursday
morning. Although he does receive some oxygen enrichment for the air
he breathes, the dosage is being reduced gradually. After removing the
ventilator on Thursday, the hospital reclassified Philip’s condition
Update on another burn victim -- and a benefit: An email from
Dawn Moquin with news on John F. VanDeusen III:
John's son John and his nephew Matthew have planned a benefit
concert for the victims and survivors of the fire. They are in a band
that will be one of 12 who have donated their talent to our event.
The benefit information and a printable flyer for distribution can
be found at
John remains in critical condition in R.I. Hospital and we're taking
things one day at a time.
The benefit: Sat., March 29 at the Poirier VFW Post #3260, 281 Appleton
St. (Rt.18 - Just north of Tarkiln Hill Road), New Bedford, Mass. Noon
The bands: 3 Feet Short (Ska/Punk); Awake (Godsmack Tribute); Big Daddy
And The Accelerators (Blues/Soul); Crossfire (Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute);
Downdrive; Eminance; Falling 2 Nowhere (Punk/Metal); Govt Cheese (Rage
Against The Machine Tribute); Losing Streak; Penpingle; Shipyard Wreck
More info: (508) 994-5796 - ask for Leo or Dawn
on John's condition are here. You may also leave him a message.
memorial page: James “Jimy” C. Gahan IV, 21 of Falmouth,
Mass., was at The Station in West Warwick on assignment by the Nichols
College radio station to interview the band Great White. He graduated
in 2000 from Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Mass., which
posts this page.
week's Station Fire Web log is here. Week
one is here. Week
two is here.