February 16, 2009

Memorial held for Station fire victims

A memorial has been held in West Warwick, R.I., to honor the 100 people killed in The Station nightclub blaze six years ago.

The Providence (R.I.) Journal said about 200 people turned out to hear the names of the victims read aloud during a ceremony Sunday in the lot where the club once stood and which is now covered with makeshift crosses dedicated to the dead.

Claire Hoogasian, who attended the memorial, told the newspaper she is still trying to make sense of the tragedy that claimed the lives of her son and daughter-in-law.

Noting her husband died when he was 51, Hoogasian said: But he was sick. These were healthy kids enjoying an evening out.

The Feb. 20, 2003, nightclub fire started when the tour manager for the band Jack Russell's Great White set off pyrotechnics, which ignited the building's flammable soundproofing foam. The tour manager and the nightclub's owners were all arrested and either served jail time or received probation because of the incident.

A permanent memorial is expected to be built on the site of the club once the civil lawsuits filed related to the case are settled, the Journal said. So far, $176 million has been offered by the defendants.