Anniversary of Rhode Island Nightclub Fire Marked

The Incident
First-In: Heroic Rescues
Death Toll Rises to 97
At Least 96 Dead in Inferno
Rescuers Struggle with Horror
Fire, Smoke Turns Club Into Hell
Discuss the Warwick Tragedy

The Aftermath
Changes to Safety Laws Since R.I. Fire
Few Changes After Club Blaze Killed 100
Web Site Comforts RI Patients
RI Gov. Orders Strict Inspections
2 Families Sue in RI Club Blaze
RI Nightclub Claims May Total $1B
RI Nightclub Death Toll Rises to 98
Victims Face Long Recovery
All But 4 Victims ID'd
Thousands Mourn Victims
IDs Could Take Days
Family, Friends Search
9/11 Widow Reflects
Survivors Recall Heroic Acts

The Investigation
Patron Capacity Unclear in RI Fire
Band Member Testifies
RI Reports Don't Mention Foam
Fire Inspector Report Released
Post-9/11 Drills Aid Club Rescue
Federal Team Launches Probe
Grand Jury Begins Probe
Brannigan: Inspectors Ready?
Investigation Ramps Up
Investigators Check Soundproof
Pyrotechnics Examined in Clubs
Disasters Prompt Inspections
Sprinklers Not Required
Nightclub Up to Code Before Fire
Town Withholds Records
RI Begins Inspections
No Warning of Pyro Use
Pyrotechnics Usually Safe
Atty: RI Club Rep. OK'd Pyrotech.
Fire Challenges State Atty. Gen.
IDs Weighed Heavy on Dentists
FEMA Denies Disaster Aid for Fire

Photos & Video
IBS Scene SlideShow
ABC: The Fire Starts
WJAR Video Feedroom

History of Tragedies
Carter: History Strikes Again
Fire, Life Safety Laws in Front
Tragedy Recalls Cocoanut Grove
Worst Club Tragedies
Nightclub Disasters Too Familiar
List: Worst Club Tragedies

Related Sites
West Warwick Fire Department
Warwick Fire Department
FH Network: Rhode Island
Providence Journal Coverage

The service at the site of The Station also included 100 seconds of silence after 11 p.m., about the time a band's pyrotechnics sent a shower of sparks into the air last Feb. 20, setting fire to flammable foam placed around the stage.

More than 1,000 people attended the service, which ended with the lighting of a 4-foot-tall, plywood heart with lights for each victim. Many of the attendees wore black baseball caps with the words ``The Station, Feb. 20, 2003'' etched in white letters.

Nancy Noyes, whose face and hands still bear scars from the fire, said she came Friday seeking answers.

``I'm trying to figure out how I got out (of the club) because I don't remember,'' she said. Noyes, who was among more than 200 people injured in the fire, was hoping rescue workers there Friday would recall pulling her to safety.

Visitors streamed to the site throughout the day, kneeling and crying before more than 100 crosses, which together formed a memorial around what once was the nightclub's perimeter. They brought flowers, balloons, pictures and other mementos to the site.

Carmen Hernandez placed a red candle near the crosses of her aunt and uncle, Ben and Linda Suffoletto, both 43. She said the experience of visiting the place where they died was like walking ``in the clouds.''

Several miles away in Cranston, the Most Rev. Robert Mulvee, bishop of the Providence diocese, presided over a Roman Catholic Mass at St. Ann Church.

Anne Gruttadauria, 59, mourned her 33-year-old daughter, Pam, who died in May and was the fire's last victim.

``It's like the light went out in my house,'' she said.

In December, a grand jury indicted the club's owners, brothers Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, and Dan Biechele, the former tour manager of the band Great White, on involuntary manslaughter charges. All three have pleaded innocent.