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Thread: Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island 2

  1. #1751
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelle1966 View Post
    This is going to sound weird, but does anyone have any dreams that they were there that night? I have some dreams about it, but I have never been to Rhode Island in my life. I had to stop watching the video because I was starting to have some really bad dreams.
    Hi Noelle, would you consider yourself an empath? If you easily can pick up on other's emotions, then it's totally understandable as to why you'd have dreams about the Station like you have. Or, maybe it's just the fact that the video is nightmare fuel (literally) and you've invested emotions into the event. I think it's normal, but I don't blame you for not wanting to watch the footage anymore!


    Hi Gang—
    Just got back from another memorable anniversary in West Warwick.
    Will go into more detail soon once I get my shit together here.
    Talked to 2 survivors I’d never met before: Theresa Labree and Paul Pelletier.

    Jimmy D. and Carpenter were great to hang with in person. Good talkers, good listeners, and both full of a natural empathy. We’re so lucky to have them here. Talk soon.
    BS—Jimmy, your bus shot is coming very soon.


    Bill, I'm so glad you guys all got to meet. I am going to make it a goal of mine to get there for the 20th anniversary memorial. Looking forward to hearing more of all your stories.

  2. #1752
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    Thanks Bill, OMG - I can see how he made it out now. That's a Vanhool Coach, very familiar with those to operate, great vehicle. Must have been a specialized band tour bus to have a dish back then. I can see

    him

    in there just totally in shock. Give him credit for moving that behemoth . I operate a MCI Coach for the VA and an Vanhool for my part time gig. Click image for larger version. 

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    Well thanks for the pic, I am glad they got in out cause if that went up too that could have been really bad for the rescuers. Keep on roll'in & stay safe everyone Jimmy D

  3. #1753
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    Hi all -- It's hard to know where to start with the 18th Anniversary. Think I'll give a broad overview of the experience and then gradually fill in some of the details soon. Yeah, COVID probably kept some away this year. And the winter weather.

    I talked to several survivors and witnesses I've spent time with before: Gina Russo, Jody King, Brandon Fravala, Dave Fravala, Brian Loftus, Dave Brennan, and Geno Goguen. And Jim Paolucci, owner of The Cowesett Inn, as well as his sister, Lori.

    Survivors whom I spoke with for the first time: Theresa Labree, Paul Pelletier, and (by phone) Mike Magee.
    I heard later that Matt Dussault was at the Memorial around noon, but I guess he couldn't bring himself to get out of his car. Also, I met this gal Jessica something--I want to say Sherman--who was supposed to waitress/bartend that night until Dina DeMaio (D) volunteered to take her place. It almost sounds like Dina wanted to work on her 30th birthday; possibly because she'd see more of her friends that night by working at The Station than not.

    Family members and friends, etc. of the 100 deceased whom I got to talk to: Kevin Anderson Jr.; Sarah Ballard; Linda Suffoletto's mother; two of Katie O'Donnell's brothers (one visiting the site for the first time); Abbie Hoisington's mother, Bonnie; Beth Mosczynski's niece; Pete (a fireman, now retired, who was there that night); a friend of Keith Mancini's; Tina Ayer's fiancee, Bruce; devoted friends of Becky Shaw's; an old classmate of Kevin Washburn's; and, finally, another first-responding fireman (now retired) who'd moved down to Tennesse only to encounter health issues and now used a multi-footed cane.

    More on this soon. Take care all.

  4. #1754
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Hi all -- It's hard to know where to start with the 18th Anniversary. Think I'll give a broad overview of the experience and then gradually fill in some of the details soon. Yeah, COVID probably kept some away this year. And the winter weather.

    I talked to several survivors and witnesses I've spent time with before: Gina Russo, Jody King, Brandon Fravala, Dave Fravala, Brian Loftus, Dave Brennan, and Geno Goguen. And Jim Paolucci, owner of The Cowesett Inn, as well as his sister, Lori.

    Survivors whom I spoke with for the first time: Theresa Labree, Paul Pelletier, and (by phone) Mike Magee.
    I heard later that Matt Dussault was at the Memorial around noon, but I guess he couldn't bring himself to get out of his car. Also, I met this gal Jessica something--I want to say Sherman--who was supposed to waitress/bartend that night until Dina DeMaio (D) volunteered to take her place. It almost sounds like Dina wanted to work on her 30th birthday; possibly because she'd see more of her friends that night by working at The Station than not.

    Family members and friends, etc. of the 100 deceased whom I got to talk to: Kevin Anderson Jr.; Sarah Ballard; Linda Suffoletto's mother; two of Katie O'Donnell's brothers (one visiting the site for the first time); Abbie Hoisington's mother, Bonnie; Beth Mosczynski's niece; Pete (a fireman, now retired, who was there that night); a friend of Keith Mancini's; Tina Ayer's fiancee, Bruce; devoted friends of Becky Shaw's; an old classmate of Kevin Washburn's; and, finally, another first-responding fireman (now retired) who'd moved down to Tennesse only to encounter health issues and now used a multi-footed cane.

    More on this soon. Take care all.
    Bill, I'm really looking forward to hearing about your conversations with all the survivors and family/friends. Especially the old classmate of Kevin Washburn, you know he holds a special place in my heart for some reason. <3 The fireman who moved down to TN, are his health issues at all due to the fire?

  5. #1755
    Great "insider" stuff to hear, Billoween. And awesome pics, Cigar. It seems that everyone here has something to bring to the table concerning this tragedy.

  6. #1756
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    Thanks Lt. Frank, CommAm & Bill My pleasure to provide some pics, I hope to make it down there again once the snow is melted and take some more details pics and see how I am going to display the Veterans

    recognition near the stone displays. We also have badges on metal sticks that may last longer than cloth flags. I'll be sure to post when I go down in the next couple of weeks to try it out. In the meantime if anyone

    has any other info on Veteran status, please let me know - we have 2 so far. Mr. King & Mr. Woodmansee . Stay safe Jimmy D

  7. #1757
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    I talked to several survivors and witnesses I've spent time with before: Gina Russo, Jody King, Brandon Fravala, Dave Fravala, Brian Loftus, Dave Brennan, and Geno Goguen. And Jim Paolucci, owner of The Cowesett Inn, as well as his sister, Lori.
    Hello, billoween.
    Has this forum ever come up in conversations with any of the survivors and witnesses you've met?
    I'm curious if Gina Russo is aware of it's existence.

  8. #1758
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    Maybe you recall the story of Station survivors Mike Magee and Geno Goguen. Mike had intercepted Geno, just as this friend emerged from the restroom corridor, and he told him, "Look, the place is on fire!" Immediately, then, Mike helped up an unknown woman who'd tripped while descending the steps from the elevated area.

    As Mike and Geno saw that exiting with the crowd--now pressing toward the front--looked more and more impossible, Mike stalled near the back bar, racking his brain for a Plan B. Finally, he remembered the kitchen door. But still, it was a close call; the first hot wave of black smoke was coming fast, and halfway through their flight along the dart room wall it caught up with them.

    Mike could no longer see the dart room door leading to the kitchen exit. But he had taken just enough of a mental snapshot, before being blinded, to allow him to find it anyway. Geno, though, was somewhere off behind him. So Mike started screaming "Geno!" again and again until Geno showed up to follow him through the first door and then out the kitchen exit.


    --Well, I got to talk with Mike Magee over the phone recently--Geno Goguen set us up. And, in fact, we talked for the whole length of his commute home from his job as a truck technician in Orlando, Florida.

    --Here are some of the highlights:

    *Mike, now 55, credited a couple of things for giving him the kitchen door idea. As a former bouncer, he said that in a club situation he "sees a lot of things that others don't." And what he remembered seeing (and hearing) happened months earlier, in November, when he and his wife were at The Station for a Van Halen tribute band. That night he'd noticed a man making a racket while dragging garbage plus cans and bottles out a back door.

    *The night of the fire, while Magee awaited Geno's return from the restroom, he recognized someone else: Chad Ochs, from Narragansett, RI. (This fits in well with statements from Chad's wife, Angela Ochs, about how Chad and Ed Nobles had left her and Cynthia Nobles on the dance floor to go visit the men's room just before GW was to take the stage.)

    *He's afraid that the girl he helped up never made it out alive.

    *Mike remembers pretty clearly the moment that he and Geno became separated: in the chaos, the waitress Dina DeMaio had unintentionally bumped in between them. (That dove-tails well with the statement of Irina Gershelis, the shot-girl, who saw Dina rush off to the club's main office first to try and retrieve her stuff; possibly her coat, her purse, or even birthday presents from that night.). This most likely makes Mike the last person to see DeMaio alive.

    *Once out of the club, Mike right away moved his Chevy Cavalier from the Station's parking lot. He'd guessed that it would only be in the way for what was to come. He swung it across the street, to a handicapped spot near the front of The Cowesett Inn. (Later, they couldn't leave that spot until a fire hose had been removed.)

    *Three years after the fire, Mike was visiting the site when he got into a conversation there. It was with a guy who eventually confessed to Mike that he'd been one of the medical examiners there on that night. He told Mike, in fact, that Ty Longley had been "one of his."

    *Lastly, Mike Magee told me something quite strange: His grandparents had been in line to enter the Cocoanut Grove only minutes before that tragic fire ignited that club on the night of 11-28-42.

  9. #1759
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    I enlarged the photo and zoomed it in. I am not sure if I was seeing Mr. Biechele, but I did see someone with glasses on the driver's side of the bus. I cannot imagine the horror going through Dan Biechele's head over what he started into motion. It was all the perfect storm.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  10. #1760
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    Cigar Dad - what’s up Jimmy? Hey, I have another one of the 100 who served: Charline Gingras-Fick (or sometimes it’s just Charline Fick). She was a mechanic in the Army years before the fire.

    Noelle - I think I can help you see Biechele. See the bright yellow light in the bus? That’s hitting his forehead and his eyes are right beneath.

    CWC - that’s a great question. But no, it hasn’t come up, that I can recall. I’ve alluded to some about aforum on-line where the fire is intensely discussed, but no one so far has ever asked me how exactly to go there. Most of the survivors don’t seem to want to know too much; just stuff that’s pertinent to their personal trajectory that night.
    And it’s funny you mentioned Gina Russo, because she’s different; she is more interested in details than most. She’s all in on the idea that remembering is vital to the healing.
    I vaguely remember her acknowledging it’s existence once. But a group of them do hang on a private Facebook site. Some of them even did group therapy together after the fire, and found it to be the most helpful thing of all; they all understood the trauma of the night, for sure.

  11. #1761
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    [QUOTE=billoween;1563834]Cigar Dad - what’s up Jimmy? Hey, I have another one of the 100 who served: Charline Gingras-Fick (or sometimes it’s just Charline Fick). She was a mechanic in the Army years before the fire.

    Noelle - I think I can help you see Biechele. See the bright yellow light in the bus? That’s hitting his forehead and his eyes are right beneath.

    Thanks Bill - I hadn't gotten to the G/F's yet, I am actually trying to do a alphabetic search of all the names and reading background to find any service related info. The VA info portal is very helpful with this. So 3 so far, I'll bet the farm there's more, we'll

    see. Noelle - from what I could see when I blew up the photo it def looks like Mr. Biechele behind the wheel from photos of him. I give him big credit moving that monster, I have driven similar vehicles ( I posted a couple of photos of my vehicles I drive #1752

    post ) and it ain't no " jump in and go ". Well the search continues and when I go back in a few weeks I'll be sure to post some more photos of the memorial without snow cover. Be well Jimmy D

    One last funny item - My grandparents use to go to the Coconut Grove on occasion to see shows with friends / They were in Italy when it happened and they lost quite a few friends in that fire

  12. #1762
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    CWC - that’s a great question. But no, it hasn’t come up, that I can recall. I’ve alluded to some about aforum on-line where the fire is intensely discussed, but no one so far has ever asked me how exactly to go there. Most of the survivors don’t seem to want to know too much; just stuff that’s pertinent to their personal trajectory that night.
    And it’s funny you mentioned Gina Russo, because she’s different; she is more interested in details than most. She’s all in on the idea that remembering is vital to the healing.
    I vaguely remember her acknowledging it’s existence once. But a group of them do hang on a private Facebook site. Some of them even did group therapy together after the fire, and found it to be the most helpful thing of all; they all understood the trauma of the night, for sure.
    Yeah, I've known Gina since the 80's (we've since grown apart) but she did tell me once that it helps her to talk about that night but I wouldn't feel comfortable mentioning this place to her.

  13. #1763
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    Jimmy D- I think it's wonderful how you're recognizing the veterans.

    CWC67- Great question, I've often wondered the same thing.. I have never come out and told the survivor who I've spoken with about this message board either. I think I may have alluded to something existing, but never came right out and said it.

    Bill- as always, great post. That's really eerie about Dina DeMaio, I'd not heard that story before.

  14. #1764
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    Thanks Comm Am - It just came to me sometime in this last year that I hadn't seen an symbol of honor as a Veteran for any any of the victims, I thought there has to be some Veterans in these 100 so I figured I

    would research it and see if I came up with any. With Billoween's help we have 3 so far and we continue to pour over info for any more. By Veterans Day I'll have my info and set a symbol of honor on those stones

    of all who served. Just my way of saying " you are remembered and recognized for your service ". I am sure they are honored at their burial site and so they should be here also. Let's roll ! Jimmy D

    PS FOUND TWO MORE !!
    Last edited by cigardaddio smoke; 03-02-2021 at 04:58 PM. Reason: MORE INFO

  15. #1765
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    Some "family memories" from the 18th Anniversary:


    -----Kevin Anderson Jr. told me that knowing about his father's serious heart issues probably helped him to better deal with his father's death. (Doctors had given him less than a year to live.) Kevin Jr., who was 11 in 2003, did go through several rough patches later, as a teenager, but therapy and AA helped. His first car, after getting his license, was his father's prize red '90 Chevy Corsica. His father had driven it to The Station that night. Kevin Jr. drove it until the day its engine blew.

    -----Sarah Ballard began sky-diving after losing her mother (Sarah Telgarsky) in the fire. Now she's jumped a half-dozen times.
    Her father, survivor Craig Ballard, has had more and more problems with his damaged hands in recent years.
    Sarah doesn't know if her parents met Jude Henault (D) and Sam Miceli (D) at The Station or at TGIF in Warwick just before the the show. And by "met" she's also not sure if they met--as in it was pre-arranged--or met--as in they simply ran into them and hung out. The couples did know each other and lived nearby in Eastern Connecticut.

    -----Linda Suffoletto's mother said it was very comforting for her to talk with first-responder John Gregson (from the series of Station videos). Linda was officially identified by her jewelry and her boots.

    Also, she told me that Linda did NOT smoke cigarettes, and abhorred tobacco use in general. So....that definitely shoots down the hunch I've stubbornly held for so long, that Linda was the "smoking" blonde next to the soundboard in the pre-show video. Humble pie for me, for sure.
    But, Linda's mom did say that the Linda at the time of the fire bore little resemblance to the mostly dated photos of her that soon appeared in the newspaper.

  16. #1766
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Some "family memories" from the 18th Anniversary:


    -----Kevin Anderson Jr. told me that knowing about his father's serious heart issues probably helped him to better deal with his father's death. (Doctors had given him less than a year to live.) Kevin Jr., who was 11 in 2003, did go through several rough patches later, as a teenager, but therapy and AA helped. His first car, after getting his license, was his father's prize red '90 Chevy Corsica. His father had driven it to The Station that night. Kevin Jr. drove it until the day its engine blew.

    -----Sarah Ballard began sky-diving after losing her mother (Sarah Telgarsky) in the fire. Now she's jumped a half-dozen times.
    Her father, survivor Craig Ballard, has had more and more problems with his damaged hands in recent years.
    Sarah doesn't know if her parents met Jude Henault (D) and Sam Miceli (D) at The Station or at TGIF in Warwick just before the the show. And by "met" she's also not sure if they met--as in it was pre-arranged--or met--as in they simply ran into them and hung out. The couples did know each other and lived nearby in Eastern Connecticut.

    -----Linda Suffoletto's mother said it was very comforting for her to talk with first-responder John Gregson (from the series of Station videos). Linda was officially identified by her jewelry and her boots.

    Also, she told me that Linda did NOT smoke cigarettes, and abhorred tobacco use in general. So....that definitely shoots down the hunch I've stubbornly held for so long, that Linda was the "smoking" blonde next to the soundboard in the pre-show video. Humble pie for me, for sure.
    But, Linda's mom did say that the Linda at the time of the fire bore little resemblance to the mostly dated photos of her that soon appeared in the newspaper.
    Could you identify her through process of elimination Bill? Might take a lot of work but could maybe work out who is definitely isn't and go from there?

  17. #1767
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    Quote Originally Posted by JXG999 View Post
    Could you identify her through process of elimination Bill? Might take a lot of work but could maybe work out who is definitely isn't and go from there?
    JXG999, I was wondering the same thing... so in the pic below, we have:

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    I can't tell if Sagesta and Van Deusen, who were at the Station that night on a date together, actually knew the blonde next to them, but there was nothing in either of their witness statements that indicated they met up with anyone they knew there.

    How can we go about finding out who this woman is? I'm sure we can come up with something with all of our collective research...

  18. #1768
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    Here’s my main problem with that photo, Amanda: why would John Van Duesen be holding a 35 mm camera? Matt Dussault is the only witness to report that HE was actually holding his girlfriend’s 35 mm Nikon One-Touch.
    ???

  19. #1769
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    Billoween I am sure there were a lot of little details left out such as someone holding a camera or not holding a camera, I mean I don't remember every little detail or didn't remember every little detail when I had to give a police statement about the neighbor upstairs beating his girlfriend half to death on the sidewalk in front of me.
    No More Stolen Sisters.

  20. #1770
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Here’s my main problem with that photo, Amanda: why would John Van Duesen be holding a 35 mm camera? Matt Dussault is the only witness to report that HE was actually holding his girlfriend’s 35 mm Nikon One-Touch.
    ???
    I’m sorry Bill, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one... so the pic below of Catherine Sagesta looks exactly like the woman in my screenshot above. She went to the Station that night with John Van Deusen, who I’ve also added a pic of below. That guy looks like the guy in the screenshot I posted as well:
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    I don’t think we should rule it out just because of the camera. This makes sense. Thoughts?

  21. #1771
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    2 thoughts, Amanda: Yeah, you are probably right.
    And, do you think you could find us a photo of Matt Dussault to compare?

  22. #1772
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    2 thoughts, Amanda: Yeah, you are probably right.
    And, do you think you could find us a photo of Matt Dussault to compare?
    Thank you, Bill.

    As far as Matthew Dussault goes, do we know how old he is? There seems to be a few with his name living in RI and MA... at the time of the fire, he was living in Coventry, and there is still a Matthew J. Dussault living in Coventry now, but he is 45 years old. That would put him as being around 27 at the time of the fire. Kristen was 37. I'm sure it's not out of the realm of possibility that it's the right guy, and he was dating a woman 10 years his elder, right?

  23. #1773
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    Whoa. One survivor has sent me a letter which was 15 pages long and it was so shocking in its description of their last-second escape, it’s taken me days to get it out of the front of my brain. And here I thought I’d read everything.....

    Damn, 15 pages, and even the P.S. was striking:

    “To this day, if I think about the fire, I taste the fire. The taste of the burning building and burnt lung tissue. It’s crazy that the memory is burnt enough on my brain to put the bad taste in my mouth.”

  24. #1774
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Whoa. One survivor has sent me a letter which was 15 pages long and it was so shocking in its description of their last-second escape, it’s taken me days to get it out of the front of my brain. And here I thought I’d read everything.....

    Damn, 15 pages, and even the P.S. was striking:

    “To this day, if I think about the fire, I taste the fire. The taste of the burning building and burnt lung tissue. It’s crazy that the memory is burnt enough on my brain to put the bad taste in my mouth.”
    We need to hear more about this letter, Bill!

  25. #1775
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    Five or six weeks ago, a survivor who incidentally discovered a discussion about him on this thread sent me a brief note. He probably sent it to Lt. Frank, as well because we were the only two forum members who had clicked on his new profile. He seemed stunned, with surprise bordering on shock. I told him I was sorry for any harm I caused him. I got the feeling he was not going to open the email.

  26. #1776
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodentLady View Post
    Five or six weeks ago, a survivor who incidentally discovered a discussion about him on this thread sent me a brief note. He probably sent it to Lt. Frank, as well because we were the only two forum members who had clicked on his new profile. He seemed stunned, with surprise bordering on shock. I told him I was sorry for any harm I caused him. I got the feeling he was not going to open the email.
    Oh no... I hope we didn't upset him??

  27. #1777
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderAmander View Post
    Oh no... I hope we didn't upset him??
    No one said anything negative about him, but it must be jarring to discover random "Death Hags" on the internet posting photos and asking for details.
    I explained where I was coming from, that my relatives most affected by the fire can't even talk about it, etc.

  28. #1778
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderAmander View Post
    Hi Noelle, would you consider yourself an empath? If you easily can pick up on other's emotions, then it's totally understandable as to why you'd have dreams about the Station like you have. Or, maybe it's just the fact that the video is nightmare fuel (literally) and you've invested emotions into the event. I think it's normal, but I don't blame you for not wanting to watch the footage anymore!

    Interesting that you should say that. I have been told that I am an empath. I really relate to other's feelings.

    Billoween - what great research! I am interested in Mike Magee. He has a job in Orlando? I live not far from there.




    Bill, I'm so glad you guys all got to meet. I am going to make it a goal of mine to get there for the 20th anniversary memorial. Looking forward to hearing more of all your stories.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

  29. #1779
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    Hi guys—All we can do here is to stay respectful and keep some awareness of boundaries.

    Someone, on rare occasion, will get upset by something, but take heart; we’ve had many people pop up here with close ties to both survivors and the deceased who seem to get it, and they’ve had only positive things to say about this group research project.

    It was a sensational public tragedy, and, as such, it’s always going to be publicly talked about. So at least we keep the event fact-based, utilizing all available sources. The backbone of which is the already redacted RIAG materials—purposely released TO THE PUBLIC by the State of Rhode Island.

    If I was a survivor and still battling the memories of the trauma, I sure as heck wouldn’t be researching it on the internet. What about the hundred-some Station Fire-related videos on YouTube? Should they be taken down as well because someone may run into them?

    Tommy Barnett’s daughter got pissed at me on Pinterest once, but it soon got talked over and somewhat smoothed out.
    She wants her dad to be revered as someone likely to have been rescuing people until his last second—we have no accounts of this yet—and not just the guy who happened to save 3 lives by giving away a joint.

    One thing I’ve learned on my trips to Rhode Island and the Memorial is to be careful and tactful; there is still a lot of free-floating anger around—even 18 years later—and it’s always going to try and land somewhere; anyplace it can sometimes.

  30. #1780
    Whoever this survivor is, he must accept that he is now part of history. I don't know who this person is, but when you become part of notable history -- you just might get researched. If you were witness to RI 's worst man-made disaster, you might be looked-into. I was at this show one week prior with the same pyrotechnics, and so I could have been in the same situation as this survivor. So sue me for the curiosity and concern.

  31. #1781
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    Amanda - since you like all-things-Kevin-Washburn you can see the guy who went to school with him here:

    (YouTube) "Remembering the 100 Victims of the Station Nightclub Fire 18 Years Later" --WPRI.com--

    No, he doesn't bring up Kevin, but he is the one who talked about him, fondly, while we shoveled on the anniversary. He said Kevin was very funny and the type of guy who was always kind to any new kids.


    --MORE Family Memories from the 18th Anniversary:

    -Abbie Hoisington's mother, Bonnie, said that Abbie was all of 4'-10". Maybe that's why she's never been spotted on the Butler tapes. Bonnie also told me that Abbie went to the show that night with her friend and fellow Special Ed. teacher, Lisa D'Andrea (D). That, I believe is new information.
    I was able to show her about where Lisa--who drove the pair that night--had parked her bright red '97 Toyota Corolla. There's a picture of it mid-way through page #35 here. It's the car next to David Brayman's purple Mazda pickup which had all the snow in the back.

    -Had a brief chat with a niece of Beth Mosczynski (D). She was amused at how people were always listing her aunt as "Elizabeth," since she was a "Beth" and nothing more. She had come to the show with old friend Mike Fresolo (D).
    BTW, it took Mike's widow, Yvette, 16 years to feel ready to visit the Station site, and it was a very emotional moment for her. She had said, then, that the main photo we see of Mike in a tuxedo was from their wedding day, a little over four years before the fire.

    -Two of Katie O'Donnell brothers showed up. (She had five brothers and one sister.) One of the brothers had never visited the site before this year. He'd been in dental school when Katie died, and had to temporarily drop out. He said there was all sorts of family turmoil following Katie's death. Their mother "died of a broken heart" three years after the fire. Also, when the settlement money finally came through, their father insisted on giving it all away to a religious charity and that was that. But it was a purely solo decision on his part, and it only further disrupted any family harmony.

    These O'Donnell brothers had always been bothered by the fact that Katie's death certificate had listed 2-21-03 for her death; so they'd always harbored fears that she'd lingered on with her injuries far too long. Here, at least, I felt I was able to provide some small relief to them: I explained that many victims had gotten listed for the 21st, simply because they weren't found and then officially declared deceased until after midnight that night.

    So it goes.

  32. #1782
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    Thanks, billoween. I didn't watch any short news blurbs this year since there was no public ceremony, so I'm glad you shared.

    Am I having dementia or is this a new reveal? Jody King says that his wife is a survivor?!?! I've seen photos/videos of her at various events over the years and she was never identified as having been there.

    ------------------------------------------------
    Pasting that title into youtube also brought up this one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUo5lYXr3OA

    It requires being logged into youtube because it's for 18+.
    It's a very emotional testimony from Sarah Jane Ballard that she filmed one year ago. She describes what the fire was like when it happened and how she's coping now, at nearly twice the age she was then. Reading the comments, she says that she keeps up with new information as it comes in. Yet she was convinced until very recently that Jeff Derderian was the videographer. Wow.

    I wonder how I missed this video. I was looking at her page a few months ago to see how she was getting on. Her little girl, Eloise, is super cute.

  33. #1783
    Quote Originally Posted by pkstracy View Post
    Cigar, where the gazebo is that where The Station sat, I am trying to line it up, to get my bearings? So many tragic fires such as the Coconut Grove, Winecoff Hotel fire, Beverly Hills Supper Club, The MGM Grand, Our Lady Of The Angels, but yet this one gets talked about the most.
    I truly wonder if it's because of the fact that most of it was caught on camera, like we see it happen "in real time" as opposed to just a news blurb or 2 minute story. I truly believe that it's the video that makes it so surreal...the beginning where people are having such a great time...to the end when the building is engulfed in flames...at least I can say for ME that's how I feel about it..

  34. #1784
    Survivor Tom Stewart gives a podcast interview about his experience that night, well worth listening to - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlyQ01uWCpA

    Quote Originally Posted by bustakita View Post
    I truly wonder if it's because of the fact that most of it was caught on camera, like we see it happen "in real time" as opposed to just a news blurb or 2 minute story. I truly believe that it's the video that makes it so surreal...the beginning where people are having such a great time...to the end when the building is engulfed in flames...at least I can say for ME that's how I feel about it..
    I totally agree, the video is what really makes this one so infamous. Without it, we would only have newspaper articles, wikipedia entries, books, etc. And those things can be descriptive and detailed and informative, but ultimately they leave things up to the imagination of the reader, and we all know that this event was beyond anything one can imagine and having a visual record of it brings it to life incomparably more than any written material.

    Also I think the timing played a big part - the fire happened recently enough to have a high quality video recorded and the internet to share it with, but long ago enough that things weren't oversaturated with media from every incident around the world in real time. Today that video might very well get lost in the noise amongst all the other extreme videos out there, and if the fire had happened many years earlier there may have been a much lower quality video broadcast at the time but which wouldn't have made the rounds the way this one did.

  35. #1785
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    That's true, I think ironically the videos we have have become lower quality over time as well

  36. #1786
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    [QUOTE=subarctican;1563995]Survivor Tom Stewart gives a podcast interview about his experience that night, well worth listening to - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlyQ01uWCpA



    Nice find Subarctican—there is no “Tom Stewart” who survived the fire, though. This is really Tom Greenan, who was with Chris Smith, Sandra Adams, Steven Graham, and Tim Cummings.
    I think he might use the Stewart name for his radio/stand-up career.

  37. #1787
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    Pickett tape

    Hey everyone is there any more info on that Pickett audio tape? I remember someone mentioning the freedom of information act

    Thanks

  38. #1788
    Quote Originally Posted by astronauthen96 View Post
    Hey everyone is there any more info on that Pickett audio tape? I remember someone mentioning the freedom of information act
    Nothing new that I'm aware of. There's of course that minute-and-a-half snippet from the John Barylick lecture online (I can repost the link if you haven't seen it) but the full thing has not been publicly released and probably never will be.

  39. #1789
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    AFTEREFFECTS


    There's a stone tile in in the walkway at The Station Memorial that's always puzzled me.

    bbcode image

    Finally, I had to give in and try to find out why a 40 year-old firefighter who was a first-responder to the Station Fire would suddenly die 37 days after that fire. And the story only got sadder the more I delved into it.

    Michael Cobb, a firefighter with Engine Company 7 of the Warwick Fire Department died on 3-29-03 at the Two Trees Inn, in the Foxwoods Resort Casino complex in Ledyard, Connecticut.

    Pvt. Cobb, a fireman for 18 years, took his own life.

    He had also been an emergency medical technician instructor for his last seven years at the Community College of Rhode Island. He was the secretary-treasurer of the Warwick firefighters' union, and for 18 years running had organized a golf tournament for the R.I. Firefighters Burn Foundation. He was known throughout the department as a positive influence, according to colleagues.


    Almost 3 years later, on February 1st, 2006, Cobb's wife Laurie Cobb, 40, died "unexpectedly" on the first floor of her home after a mysterious fire had started in the basement. It was found to be unrelated to any electrical cause. She'd been a much-beloved teacher of 5th graders at a local elementary school for 16 years.

    The Cobbs left no children.

    ---Yet another tragedy in the aftermath of the Station Nightclub Fire---


  40. #1790
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    Quote Originally Posted by astronauthen96 View Post
    Hey everyone is there any more info on that Pickett audio tape? I remember someone mentioning the freedom of information act

    Thanks
    Hi Astroauthen, to be honest I don't see the grounds for which a FOI request would be granted to hear it. The clip played by Barylick during his presentation contains everything we need to hear that wouldn't be truly horrific. The last couple of seconds are bad enough in my opinion. All you're going to hear is people choking and screaming as they suffocate or burn to death. I mean there may be a vague educational reason as it would capture the length of time until the 'silence' which if you were studying to be a medical examiner may be useful perhaps but you could probably get that information by asking someone who's heard it. At this point I think the only way anyone would access the full thing is if they hacked into Barylick's computer or the WWPD's server.

    The bit of media I'd most like to see is a clean decent quality version of the preshow video. Just people having a good time. Sadly the ones we have are really poor quality.

  41. #1791
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    @billoween: That is horrifying! Thanks for sharing.

    ----------------------------------------------

    @JXG999: I listened (on a fast speed, it was way too long) to the two-hour interview with radio DJ John Laurenti which was the next episode from the youtube channel subartican posted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt2vbFahX-k

    Laurenti was a friend and co-worker of DJ Mike Gonsalves, who died in the fire. He said that his young intern, who survived, was given a copy of the full footage that Butler filmed. It contained a lot more than was ever shown on local TV!

    So that is more hearsay that such footage exists. I've heard the rumours, but never had proof.

  42. #1792
    In all fairness, TV reports don't usually show more than a few seconds of footage at time, so it would be entirely accurate to say that the 13 minute Butler video contains "a lot more" footage than what was shown on TV. It doesn't mean that it's anything we haven't already seen, though.

    I suppose the pre-fire video could contain more footage than what we've been shown, as it's made up of many short clips pieced together. Likewise it's possible there could be more stuff from the aftermath. But the main 13-minute fire video is almost completely uncut, he starts recording just as the band is starting and doesn't stop until near the end in the parking lot, so there's literally nowhere in between those two points that could contain any previously unseen footage.

  43. #1793
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    Quote Originally Posted by astronauthen96 View Post
    Hey everyone is there any more info on that Pickett audio tape? I remember someone mentioning the freedom of information act
    Believe it or not, my original Freedom of Information Act request for the Pickett tape is still pending. It's been pending for years in fact, but I have reason to believe it might get a decision sometime this year. I'll keep you all updated.

  44. 03-22-2021, 12:11 PM

  45. #1794
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    Quote Originally Posted by dionyzus View Post
    Believe it or not, my original Freedom of Information Act request for the Pickett tape is still pending. It's been pending for years in fact, but I have reason to believe it might get a decision sometime this year. I'll keep you all updated.
    Do you think there's a chance it would get approved? To be honest I'm a bit afraid of what it might sound like

  46. #1795
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    Quote Originally Posted by astronauthen96 View Post
    Do you think there's a chance it would get approved? To be honest I'm a bit afraid of what it might sound like
    It's been a long process. I'll share details of my experiences once a decision is made. If I had to guess I'd say it's about a 50/50 chance of being released.

  47. #1796
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    Quote Originally Posted by dionyzus View Post
    It's been a long process. I'll share details of my experiences once a decision is made. If I had to guess I'd say it's about a 50/50 chance of being released.
    I'm just curious as to how the freedom of information act works? Is the Pickett tape under public domain?

  48. #1797
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    Quote Originally Posted by astronauthen96 View Post
    I'm just curious as to how the freedom of information act works? Is the Pickett tape under public domain?
    Both good questions. The FOIA process starts simply, you just send a letter with your request. But it can get complicated from there, going through the right channels, contacting government agencies and lawyers, it's like being in a legal case. And yes, the public domain question did come up. As I said, I'll be happy to share details after it's all over. Feel free to PM me if you have other specific questions.

  49. #1798
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    Dec 2020
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    Taunton, Ma.
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    Hey Bill - Thanks for clarifying that piece of info / I noticed that my self last year when there was very little snow cover. I wondered what it was about, I thought maybe it was a injury to the FF but they couldn't tie it directly to the Station cause to much time had

    passed. Well its too bad it affected him so greatly he had to do that. And the poor wife some time later, under weird circumstances too .

    Hope all is well with everyone, I may be heading down that way this weekend. If so I'll take more pics for you all that were asking. Be safe Jimmy D

  50. #1799
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Ridgefield, CT
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    223
    Jimmy D - Thanks and best to you. I guess you can leave your shovel at home this weekend. Saturday looks like great weather. Bring a flower or two in case there’s a birthday to observe.

    Subarctican - good points you make. You’re one of our video experts now. (Along with Dionyzus and JXG.)

    RodentLady - Thanks for the Laurenti info. Wow, 18 years later and there’s still so much to uncover.

    I’m working on the stories of all 4 fire extinguishers from “that night.” Plus I’m finishing up a particularly hair-raising survivor story; this guy was one of the very few to get out from behind the front door pileup. I’m just waiting for a few answers from him on some follow-up questions I had.

  51. #1800
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    Taunton, Ma.
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    Well i did make it over after my delivery to the nearby VA clinic. Very peaceful and some folks visiting. I took a few more pics ( minus the snow ). Look very nice, even in the overcast. Said a thank you prayer for FF Cobb since his day is coming soon. Hopefully i post these right. Be safe. Jimmy D
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    Does the middle of the stone seat look like a old 45 record spacer ? Huh never realized that, funny !

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