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

  1. #1001
    Quote Originally Posted by RodentLady View Post
    Frank, I remember one of the past FAD detectives (Someone like LLC or Mammy, that era) ID'ing him as Robert Riffe. I searched for a few minutes and couldn't find it, though.
    Which guy is supposedly Robert Riffe? I didn't see anyone resembling him. The guy pointing across the camera to someone saying "Timmy, come here", to me, resembles Bruce Cormier. I'm guessing he's calling to his son, Tim Cormier (guy in black leather jacket coming towards camera, raising his arms and going to the left?), to go do something.

  2. #1002
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    Oh, sorry: The young man with the star on his shirt, stuck in the doorway.

  3. #1003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Frank Drebin View Post
    Dionyzus,

    I'm still unable to ID the star shirt guy. It looks like image-posting went to 5h!+ again... I believe the "Timmy, come here" guy (after "watch out for this hose") is Bruce Cormier. After all, he was there with his son, Timothy Cormier. I have pics of both.

    Do we need to start a FB page or something, because this site is not image-friendly?
    I just don't see the Timmy-come-here guy as resembling the Bruce Cormier guy we see in the Davidson shot (where you see him on the extreme left, with Donna Cormier's pointing arm seeming to come from him). There were only 3 Timothy's in the club, supposedly: Tim Rossano, the red-jacketed bar window escapee who stares into BB's camera; Tim Cummings from Barrington RI who got out the bar door; and, Bruce's son, Tim Cormier. My guess is that this is someone talking to Tim Cummings. Guess it could be whoever Cummings might have attended the show with??

  4. #1004
    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    I just don't see the Timmy-come-here guy as resembling the Bruce Cormier guy we see in the Davidson shot (where you see him on the extreme left, with Donna Cormier's pointing arm seeming to come from him). There were only 3 Timothy's in the club, supposedly: Tim Rossano, the red-jacketed bar window escapee who stares into BB's camera; Tim Cummings from Barrington RI who got out the bar door; and, Bruce's son, Tim Cormier. My guess is that this is someone talking to Tim Cummings. Guess it could be whoever Cummings might have attended the show with??
    If that guy on the far left is with the Cormier party... That's not Bruce Cormier. He was 49 at the time of the fire. I temporarily changed my avatar pic to that of Bruce Cormier (more recently). What do you all think - the "Timmy, come here" guy?
    Last edited by Lt. Frank Drebin; 04-15-2018 at 04:44 PM.

  5. #1005
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    Ooh, yes, Frank! I've not watched the video in many months, but that IS the man from that scene.
    In my opinion.

  6. #1006
    Quote Originally Posted by RodentLady View Post
    Oh, sorry: The young man with the star on his shirt, stuck in the doorway.
    Hi RodentLady,
    I pulled up my file pic of Robert Riffe, and he does resemble the star shirt guy.
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  7. #1007
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    Frank--I use my phone too much and don't get the avatars, so here I am on the mainframe and boy, am I humbled. Because, yeah that's definitely Bruce Cormier. Other little factors seem to add up, too:
    1.) Bruce and Timmy went to pull people out in the front after their "bouncer escape," while his daughter, Brenda, and his wife, Donna, waited elsewhere.
    2.) Donna says Bruce was wearing a sweater/cardigan at the time. (interview)
    3.) She remembers that Bruce had to tell Timmy to stop rescuing late in the game.
    So, I stand corrected. Nice work and a reminder to self not to assume nuthin'. PS--Donna says the baseball cap-wearing guy near her pointed finger was not Timothy. He wasn't wearing a baseball cap and was further behind her at the time. So there's another ID challenge for you.

    I think I may have come across a new way that the fire was avoided by 2 lucky individuals. Remember how the club was very likely about to change hands? And how Rob Feeney described getting out via an opening in the atrium where someone had already kicked out a plywood panel? He surmised that the ATM machine had just been taken out by the old management. Well, Kevin Anderson (D) was reportedly with 3 friends that night (I wish I knew who). And two of them left The Station just before "Desert Moon" to go and find an ATM someplace. When they returned, the place was chaos. (all this from obits, witness statements, and newspaper articles.) Anybody know who the friends were?

    Was there really Sumo wrestling the night before? It's listed for the night of the 19th on one advertisement. Too bad the fire didn't happen that night...you know, no offense, but if it really just had to happen......

    Just re-read some of the Med. Ex. stuff. Pleaseee never let me have to be identified by a "boot remnant" or by "fragments of a black coat" or by "a shark mouth pendant."
    And remember how area dentists were instructed to listen to their answering machines over the weekend following the fire? Now I'm surprised that all area tatoo artists weren't told to do the same.
    Last edited by billoween; 04-16-2018 at 12:16 PM.

  8. #1008
    Kevin Anderson was with Neil Cronin, Linda Ormerod, and Tim Rossano.
    Last edited by Lt. Frank Drebin; 04-17-2018 at 04:36 PM.
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  9. #1009
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    HEY, HEY, HEY!!!!!!!! Looks what's been released in the public sphere!
    Station Fire documentary feature film, "The Guest List." Opening October 2018.

    https://www.theguestlistfilm.com/trailer/

    https://www.theguestlistfilm.com/about

    I was in the breathtakingly gorgeous section of Eagle Rock, California this afternoon. The weather was perfect- warm and dry, no fake 'clouds.' I'd just enjoyed my first acupuncture session. I sat for a few minutes on a bench as I waited for a bus back to downtown L.A. When I got up to put my backpack on, I noticed that my back had been pressed against an ad for "Team Tracy King." It was a real estate business. I have no idea who THAT Tracy King is. But it reminded me of a different one...

  10. #1010
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    Dion--Thanks. If Charlene P. could be loud, I'd believe it. After all, she IS married to a drummer.

    RLady--nice finding of the NPR interview with Al Prudhomme. And a documentary in the fall!

    Frank--thanks for filling me in on the Kevin Anderson posse. As you are probably aware, Kevin Anderson & some friends are in Linda Ormerod's photos on
    Google Drive. (Dion's whole set-up with the AG's materials on Google Drive continues to reward almost daily.)

    Sometimes it's the little scenes that move me, usually unexpectedly. Like when Eugene "Geno" Goguen gets home after having barely survived. What does he do? He takes a picture of the ink stamp still on his hand.

    Well, thanks be that Ron Barak was able to find that atrium window (as seen on BB). The group he was with did not fare well. That would be Scott Griffith (D), Derek Johnson (D), Ryan Morin (D), and David Barber who burned his right hand. Barak was part of another sub-group of survivors, too: he and Tim Rossano and John DiMeo had all worked in--yes--fire sprinkler installation.

    The atrium always haunts me. To enter that area you stepped down 10 to 12 inches. Tell me that didn't cause any issues in the panic and in the dark while trying to leave it. Can't help but be reminded then, of the left-side of the dance floor as well; the railed area some patrons watched from. That was said to involve going up one or two steps. Or down them. No wonder that regular Station-goers fared better, generally, than first-timers.

    Robert Croteau's storyline is sad and strange. He'd been seriously assaulted in the previous year, and was in a coma for 4 1/2 months. Then he comes to The Station and dies, amongst many folks who'll be purposely put into medical comas. But even Joe Kinan's was for "just" 3 months.

  11. #1011
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    Irony patrol:
    Jack Russell, on past tours, used to keep a fire extinguisher ON STAGE, which he used to spray the audience with during one song (?) in particular. (anybody know which song?) Wish he'd still been keeping to that.

    Lisa Marie Scott, who was with Stephanie Simpson that night, got out the bar door and down the steps with only scrapes and bruises. Six months later to the day (8-20-03), she fell down the stairs at her home and died.


    The odd story of David Brayman:
    He wins tix from WUXL-FM, a Groton/New London station. He drinks some all day, and has no breakfast and no lunch. He drives his truck to The Station, late afternoon on the 20th, and parks right in front of the club all the way on the left. He drinks some more at the horseshoe bar, eventually falling into conversation with Kathy Barber, sister of soon to be heroic patron-rescuer, Joe Barber. At 10:30 pm he and Kathy leave, in her car, and go to Wendy's. When they return, the club is engulfed. On 2-24 he picks up his truck from Astro Wreck in West Warwick. When he gets home, he notices dried blood on the tailgate. Inside the open bed, he sees a female finger tip--skin which had fallen off a finger along with a painted nail.
    It's enough to make you want to quit drinking. That, or drink more.

    Well, we know that Kerrie Amato saw it all; she's all over the BB footage. Her last comment to the police: "It was the worst thing ever that you could ever even imagine ever."
    Last edited by billoween; 05-25-2018 at 09:26 AM.

  12. #1012
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    Hi , I was reminded of this tragedy recently and I went looking for the vid on YouTube. I found this one but it seems to feature a pile of charred bodies ( near the end of the video) are these from the fire or has someone used a photo from another fire instead. Don't remember seeing any bodies of the nightclub fire.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=17s&v=NMLSc4ua8ug

  13. #1013
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    No the picture of the dead bodies is from the Santika Fire
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~ #METOO grandpa Jan 8,1927-March 9, 2006 Grandma Nov 6, 1926-June 28, 2018. Forever loved and missed always in my heart.

  14. #1014
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    Thanks, didn't think they were from the station.

  15. #1015
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    You're welcome, I do not think there were any pictures released of the bodies from The Station.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~ #METOO grandpa Jan 8,1927-March 9, 2006 Grandma Nov 6, 1926-June 28, 2018. Forever loved and missed always in my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Frank Drebin View Post
    Hi RodentLady,
    I pulled up my file pic of Robert Riffe, and he does resemble the star shirt guy.
    For what it's worth Christopher Scott pulled Robert Riffe from the stack of people at the main entrance, according to Scott's witness statement.

  17. #1017
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    Well, speaking of Christopher Scott, perhaps he pulled Kathleen Sullivan out of the pile as well. She doesn't have a memory of who freed her, but was told she'd been pulled out of the front door pile by a man named "Scott." I always assumed this was a first name, but since none of the best-known front door rescuers have that first name, it follows that it could very well be Christopher Scott. Sullivan was in critical condition in the burn unit at Mass. General. She was with her best friends, Donna Mitchell (D) and Mary Baker (D) and also Rob Feeney and Pam Gruttadauria (D). It sounds like the only reason her boyfriend, musician Thomas Walason, didn't go along, too, was that he was visiting an ailing uncle at a VA hospital in Providence. Another weird lucky break, huh?--one of those where you think, wow, I'm sure glad his uncle was sick.

    More Ron Barak: Barak is represented by 2 witness statements, but the really amazing one is "Barak, Ron (2).pdf." Essential reading. The 2 moments from it that stood out to me were:
    1.) Just before panic completely rules, this stranger and he are trying to break an atrium window. And he says that at that early point, the people that were moving towards the front door looked at them "like they were crazy." He even wondered if a bouncer would try and stop them and just figured he would have to pay for the window.
    WTF......right?
    2.) OK, this involves what you don't see on BB footage: Turns out there was a fast-growing crush of people filling the corner of the atrium where Barak and the stranger were.
    "Suddenly the man was gone and Mr. B. felt a breeze and realized the man must have broken the window and gotten out. Mr. Barak dove head first out the window, his legs initially being pinned by people who were now crowded into their corner." (yikes.) So, is it any wonder now that Barak keeps axes and fire extinguishers everywhere? (And a rope ladder in his third-floor apartment.)
    Last edited by billoween; 05-05-2018 at 03:29 PM.

  18. #1018
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    Captured Audio....

    Ed Corbett (D) of West Warwick was at The Station that night with his girlfriend, Tawnya Kelly, and they were in a group that included Kelly's cousin, Susan Chamberlin, as well as Richard Grace, Georgette Giroux-Brown, and Greg Dufour.
    It wasn't until the next day that Ed's older brother, Shawn, woke up and saw that he had 2 voice messages (for a combined length of approx. 90 seconds). Well, both messages were from a distressed Tawnya Kelly, begging Shawn to return her calls. She had just been pushed out a broken atrium window, and in the background of her messages, one could hear screaming, yelling, moaning. One could also hear a partial conversation between Tawnya and an unknown person. The conversation sounded as if she were explaining that she got out of the building through an open window.
    Everyone in the group survived except for Ed Corbett.

    In one obituary it was noted that Ed was a collector of newspaper front pages--those published after a big event.


    Robin Petrarca was sitting 5 feet from the bar door and, while she made it out, she did lose 9 friends that night. She told one newspaper reporter that the night wasn't like a linear, coherent memory for her; more like "a sequence of moments."


    Calling Frank or any IDers. Using the pre-show on Drive ("Contents Not On Original Hard Drive"), does anyone have any hunches on the following:

    --34:24 - guy in black hat, extreme right, tongue out.

    --2:16:14 - couple standing and watching Mario G.

    --2:27:23 - smoking guy who mugs for camera.

    --2:33:19 - girl who looks into camera as Tracy King slides by her.

  19. #1019
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    It's been a while since I posted. First excellent work Frank on the positive ID on Bruce Cormier as the guy who says "Timmy, just.. c'mere!" in the Butler video. Great to put a face with the name, he stood up to Scott V. (who is still a prick!) and got his family to safety out the stage door.

    Next, my brother wineandkerosene posted this:

    Quote Originally Posted by wineandkerosene View Post
    For what it's worth Christopher Scott pulled Robert Riffe from the stack of people at the main entrance, according to Scott's witness statement.
    I agree Scott's witness statement says this. But note in Robert Riffe's statement, he makes a point of saying, twice, that he wished he knew who pulled him out so he could thank him. But it's possible in his shocked state he forgot that he told his rescuer his name.

    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    --2:33:19 - girl who looks into camera as Tracy King slides by her.
    I agree, this lady is distinctive and has a good closeup for a moment. Certainly she should be able to be identified. She is sitting at the bar a few feet away from the Sanetti party.

    Finally, I learned something significant about some videos on the Google drive. There are a group of videos in Phase 3 at the following link (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1...01aLVJ1SW1uODA) that I thought were corrupted and couldn't be viewed. I couldn't make them play more than a few seconds directly on my computer. As it turns out, a commenter on the 13 minute Butler video currently on YouTube noted that he watched over 30 minutes of video there. So I tried it through my internet browser and it worked! It was the Steve McLaughlin video there. It is over 30 minutes long taken in the parking lot, picking up where the Butler video leaves off at the sparking transformer. The best part is that the Steve McLaughlin video is clearer than the Butler video! So although some of you may have already seen it, I highly recommend watching the whole thing. Near the end it shows a firefighter who takes a break from working at the front door, moves off to the side and retches.

  20. #1020
    @ 2:27:23 - the smoking guy who mugs for the camera - I strongly believe is survivor James Dufresne. image hosting over 10mb

    I was thinking that the girl at 2:33:19 was survivor Kate Kozik, but I'm not really thinking so. She could be Roberta Omelia, Roberta Prete... I can't say for sure.. yet. I only have pictures of just over 220 survivors.

    Billoween, how do I get to Linda Ormerod's pics on Google Drive?
    Last edited by Lt. Frank Drebin; 05-06-2018 at 03:05 PM.
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  21. #1021
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    Billoween, how do I get to Linda Ormerod's pics on Google Drive?

    Just did it 2 ways on my phone. Go to the drive menu. Just put "Linda Ormerod" in search space. Or go to the same menu and go down to Photos & images and put in Linda Ormerod. Nice going, by the way on James Dufresne. I like.

  22. #1022


    Anyone care to guess where this guy appeared in the pre-fire video? Survivor Jose Roberto Demos
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  23. #1023
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    Looks like you've spotted the turn-around-and-squint-into-the-camera guy from the pre-show (1:53). Have always wondered who that was, so thanks Frank. Here's everything I could find out about Jose R. Demos: He's a "cleaner" from Lowell, MA., and he went to the show by himself. He says he was trapped in the main door pile and got burned some. But he got out and drove himself home to Saint Memorial Hospital in Lowell. Wow, wouldn't that take 90 minutes? Wonder what was going on in his head. Something kind of lonely-sounding about his night.
    Last edited by billoween; 05-09-2018 at 06:08 PM.

  24. #1024
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    Tim Cormier left a comment on a youtube Station video:

    "That's me tripping over the tour manager as he's trying to uncoil a fire hose. My dad is right behind me pointing his finger at me. That was right after they pulled me away from trying to pull people out. I got two out. A man and then a woman. I never went back till this year 2017. 14 years. When I see myself in this video, I think back. I was only 29 yrs. at the time. I had just started my own construction company. Over the next five years, I spiraled out of control with drinking and drugs. Lost my business and my mind. Tried to kill myself. Hospitalized. I just wasn't equipped to deal with this. It's taken a long time to come to terms with it . . . "

  25. #1025
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    Welcome back Dion.

  26. #1026
    Nice find, billoween! So that solidifies our IDs of Bruce and Tim Cormier.

    Thanks for pointing us to those additional videos, Dionyzus!
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  27. #1027
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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Tim Cormier left a comment on a youtube Station video:

    "That's me tripping over the tour manager as he's trying to uncoil a fire hose. My dad is right behind me pointing his finger at me. That was right after they pulled me away from trying to pull people out. I got two out. A man and then a woman. I never went back till this year 2017. 14 years. When I see myself in this video, I think back. I was only 29 yrs. at the time. I had just started my own construction company. Over the next five years, I spiraled out of control with drinking and drugs. Lost my business and my mind. Tried to kill myself. Hospitalized. I just wasn't equipped to deal with this. It's taken a long time to come to terms with it . . . "
    Great find Billoween! Here is the link to the YouTube video that Tim Cormier comments on:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxVd3ZnvayY

  28. #1028
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    Hi folks--

    Hey, remember how in an early scene Barylick has State Fire Marshall Irving J. Owens getting a call from his wife on his cell phone. He's in the middle of the chaos, and now learns that his nephew, "Chris," was at The Station that night, "and they can't find him," according to his wife. Finally, a page later we get this:

    "[Friday] afternoon, Fire Marshall Owen's cell phone roused him from his overwhelming fatigue. It was his wife [again], telling him they'd found his nephew--at Rhode Island Hospital--burned, but alive."

    So who exactly is this survivor Chris? (and excuse me if this came up here years ago; I don't recall it.) Well, using the patron list, I was able to eliminate all the Christophers--and one "Kristopher"--except for one Christopher Nowicki, who was moderately burned and at Rhode Island Hospital.
    Nowicki, of East Greenwich, was with Richard Wiggs, of Coventry. His witness statement/news interviews are somewhat unique in their expressions of guilt over even the inadvertent trampling of others.
    His (probable) uncle--State Fire Marshall Owens--had the unenviable quote in the Providence Journal the day before the fire; referring to the Chicago (E2) stampede, he'd said, "It's very remote something like that would happen here.....we have excellent fire codes."


    Frank, you mentioned Roberta Omelia recently. I found an excellent photo of her from 9/25/03, highlighting her graduation from the Rehabilitation Hospital of RI. Yes, the healing hand is a easy tip-off, as well. >> elizabethgudrais.com >>then maybe search her name. (I suck at links.)
    Last edited by billoween; 05-25-2018 at 09:25 AM.

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    So......during an afternoon visit to Foxwoods in early April, I came face-to-forehead with Station survivor Ken Mariorenzi. He's tall (6'-2"), and when he leans over a craps table to move chips, it's like BAM--there's that familiar forehead from BB's video. (I'd heard that he still worked there, but this was my first time spotting him.) He was quite friendly about it when I mentioned to him his prominence in the Butler tape. Honestly, he looks so much the way he did in 2003, it wouldn't now pose the slightest challenge for Lt. Frank's powers of facial recognition.

    Ken Mariorenzi attended the show that night with fellow Foxwoods pals Phillip DeLaRoca and Marc Lucier. They were hanging out near the ticket booth when the fire started. After finally exiting the front, he went left, down the steps towards the atrium windows--then reversed course, circling around the railing to the bar windows. He told detectives that he went to the bar window all the way on the left and helped 2 girls out.

    (from statement): "While there, he was looking into the blackness inside when he saw something glowing, and realized it was a girl's sweater glowing with embers. He was able to pull her out and she landed on top of him. He described her as wearing a black midriff sweater and her face appeared blank. Although she was dead weight, he was able to lift her up and place her on the hood of a car.
    He stated he began to realize the enormity of the situation and ran to the front door where people were piled up and he saw the flames shoot out the door, engulfing the people."

    After meeting Mariorenzi, I left the casino and walked across to the Grand Ballroom to better read the small banner hung up there. (Whenever I'm there I like to check out who all is convening.) The banner, it turns out, read "CT TRAUMA '18 - 20th Annual Conference." And wouldn't you know, the guest speaker listed for 8am--10am that very morning was Dr. William Cioffi, Chief Surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital. His topic: Burn injuries at The Station Nightclub Fire.
    Last edited by billoween; 05-25-2018 at 09:23 AM.

  30. #1030
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    Frank, I see now that it's really "O'Melia" in reality.

  31. #1031
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    You know if you pour through enough survivor statements how certain phenomena will come up again and again? One such repeated occurrence for me is the one about the bar-door-that-wouldn't-open.

    Sure, lots of club-goers did escape via the bar exit, but for a while--it must have felt like an eternity--that door refused to open. Evidently, the oxygen-consuming fire had finally created enough of a vacuum to make it impossible to push it open, panic bar and all. Thankfully, breaking a window seemed to change all that.

    Survivor, Claude Richard: He moved towards the bar door where 15-20 people were trying to push it open. Then he heard someone break a bar window and it was only then that the door opened.

    Deborah Lemay: She was actually injured hurling herself against the bar door that wouldn't open. "I was waiting to die of smoke inhalation, she said. "It was like breathing fire." She ended up going out a bar window instead.

    Richard Sanetti: "[There was] a stack of people trying to get out that door . . . I remember thinking to myself that I should have been able to go right out this door . . . and I had determined in my mind that there was a problem with that door . . . and that's why we're in this position, although, ultimately it did open after quite a bit . . . and we surged forward and we landed [in a pile of people] out on the pavement."

    Arthur Zanfagna: He and "10-15 people" headed for the door by the bar. Some had already left that way, but now it slammed shut again, and some kind of vacuum occurred with all the air getting sucked out of the room. He heard a window break nearby, though, and "[the] door flew open," and then he says people were "sucked out" into a mini pile-up on the bar stairs.

    -----Any fire buffs familiar with this phenomena?


    PS--Found an old print ad for "The Filling Station" (The Station's predecessor). The copy reads: "The place to be for food, fun, foam, and entertainment." Okay, it's plain they meant foam as in beer, but come on!--I couldn't help but read it now as "The place to be for food, fun, petroleum-based packing foam, and entertainment."
    Last edited by billoween; 06-01-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  32. #1032
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    Come on Frank---hit us with another patron photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post

    PS--Found an old print ad for "The Filling Station" (The Station's predecessor). The copy reads: "The place to be for food, fun, foam, and entertainment." Okay, it's plain they meant foam as in beer, but come on!--I couldn't help but read it now as "The place to be for food, fun, petroleum-based packing foam, and entertainment."
    I remember the bar in Martinsburg, West Virginia that said the same thing. That place never opened.

    Speaking of The Station is there any truth that they are making a movie about this ?? I did hear on the news today they are thinking about a movie based on the Aurora
    , Colorado movie theater massacre called "Jessica's Story". The parents of victim Jessica Gwazi are behind this. I doubt that will get made though. The public is Simply sick of hearing that she was the only victim !!

  34. #1034
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    Quote Originally Posted by choff View Post
    Speaking of The Station is there any truth that they are making a movie about this ??
    See post #1009 above, dated 17 April. I provided links.

    ----------------------------------
    I love your work, Billoween. Thank you for your passion! I don't recall beer being referred to as foam. But, yeah, in this context it just makes me shake my head. Like too many things.

  35. #1035
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    Thanks so much, R.Lady. I know I'm usually recycling things that veterans like yourself have already touched on.......


    --The Tragic Story of "Survivor" Richard Rakoski--

    So . . . you're in the 772nd Military Police Company of the Massachusetts National Guard, and shipping out soon to serve in and around Kabul and the Bagram Air Base. But now comes the news that your departure has been moved up to 7-7-02. So you and your fiancee decide to move the wedding up as well, to 6-29-02. At least you'll have a week together. And you'll go on a real honeymoon when you get back in 8 months. She--Terry--is pushing for Niagara Falls, but for now your only instructions from her are to be careful overseas and return home safe. And you promise Terry that you won't take any unnecessary risks in Afghanistan.

    But...unfortunately, Terry Rakoski, 30, of Tauton, Mass., died in The Station fire. She was on a girls' night out with her sister, Christine DiRenzio (D), and with her friend, Kris Carbone (D). Richard was due home in a few weeks, and in preparation for Niagara Falls she'd recently gotten her first passport.

    Because of the fire, Richard was sent home ahead of his unit, with an accompanying soldier. After traveling the 36-38 hours home, Richard's first stop was at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. There he provided forensic specialists with descriptions of everything from Terry's distinctive body features to her new wedding ring. Soon, he would be busy attending funerals, one of them for his good friend, Shawn Sweet.

    Eventually, Richard goes to work at a Home Depot, but only lasts 5 days; he says he just can't handle all the questions.

    "Now he just stays home," reported U.S. News Magazine, in a ten-years-after-the-fire type piece. "He drinks. He hasn't spoken to a therapist, though he recently did get as far as picking up the phone . . . He's down to his last pennies. He would love to work but just can't. He sells things, like gold chains, for a few bucks. And he tries to provoke a response from Terry by doing things that irritated her--like moving things around the house. [she was very orderly] He's waiting for her to move them back. He takes sleeping pills, but finds no comfort in slumber. 'I dream about what could have been,' he says."

    Terry Rakoski had been there the day her husband shipped out. The couple, in fact, was on Boston's WHDH-TV, and the reporter who interviewed them was our own Jeffrey Derderian. Who could have ever guessed that their interviewer was actually a bigger threat to the couple's future happiness than, say, an Al Qaeda car bomb.

    "I don't understand how this could happen," Richard Rakoski told freerepublic.com. "The world is a very cruel place."
    Last edited by billoween; 07-09-2018 at 03:41 PM.

  36. #1036
    Quote Originally Posted by billoween View Post
    Come on Frank---hit us with another patron photo.
    OK, how about survivor Catherine Carignan -- where do you see her in the pre-fire video?


    Does anyone know about survivor Alana Joseph? Is she/he now or was the opposite gender?
    Last edited by Lt. Frank Drebin; 06-09-2018 at 05:47 PM.
    Robert Riffe
    the smoking guy who mugs for the camera

  37. #1037
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    Aren't we talking peace-sign girl, who's all smiley & close with boyfriend Richard Delsanto, the tall, light-flannel shirt guy at 1:58? Catherine Louise Carignan and Delsanto, a self-employed shell fisherman at the time of the fire, both got out the front door on the early side. But Richard did get knocked down and pulled out by an unknown person. When he'd located Carignan again, he took her back to her parent's home. But she began having a wave of panic attacks, and Delsanto drove her to Rhode Island Hospital.

    For Alana Joseph of Fall River, all I have is this: she came alone and exited early, like 3rd or 4th through the front doors (witness statement).


    For Andon P. Joseph ("Andy") of Cranston, all I know is that he arrived about 10:45 with girlfriend Michelle O'Brien. (She's the only one of the pair with a witness statement.) They left immediately through the front door and drove off minutes later. All I got, Frank.

    Thanks for the challenge.....I used to think that Catherine and the girl in red reacting to BB's light 2 seconds before were like twins. Do you know who the girl-in-red is?

  38. #1038
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    Question

    Has this been added to the google drive collection?

    Bruce Kulick interview in 4/21/2000 at the Station nightclub


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yLdTWBOQuQ

    P.S.Just checked, there are SEVEN Station videos at the uploaders' channel including full concerts, soundchecks, etc...…
    (all uploaded within the last 4 months)
    Last edited by CWC67; 06-12-2018 at 09:12 PM. Reason: more info

  39. #1039
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    Billoween, Andon Joseph's statement is right next to Alana Joseph's. Michelle O'Brien describes a moment that Barylick used in "Killer Show:" She saw JD take bills from the register. According to the book, he then paid Biechele with them.

  40. #1040
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWC67 View Post
    Has this been added to the google drive collection?

    Bruce Kulick interview in 4/21/2000 at the Station nightclub


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yLdTWBOQuQ

    P.S.Just checked, there are SEVEN Station videos at the uploaders' channel including full concerts, soundchecks, etc...
    (all uploaded within the last 4 months)
    Thanks CWC67 for your suggestion of things to add to the Google Drive. The only YouTube videos I've added are the victim impact statements and news stories directly about the Station Fire. I considered them too important not to save in case those YouTube videos disappear over time.

    The video you linked to and the others on that user's channel are interesting. Especially the cover band with videos taken at the Station pre-2000 before the eggcrate foam was installed.

  41. #1041
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    Thanks R.Lady--all I see is Andon Joseph's summons. Nothing else. ??


    Liz Arruda's police statements contain a running theme about her nakedness after finally getting pulled out of the pile by her good friend, Derek Silva. She'd already wiggled out of her black Sketchers. But then everyone keeps putting blankets over her:

    1.) ". . . the firefighter grabbed me, put a blanket around my waist."
    2.) ". . . my shirt was like--gone. I had a little tank top on and it was like completely gone. And I had on a buttoned-down shirt which was see through and I had it kind of closed, [but the doctors] gave me a blanket to put over me."
    3.) ". . . the paramedics came and they put me on a stretcher and they put all kinds of blankets around me. And . . . we got in the ambulance [and] they ripped up my pants and put IV's in me."

    This struck me as pretty ironic and almost funny. Only because before the fire--after getting fired from Wal-mart for wearing a lip ring--she'd been in her third month of dancing at Providence's Foxy Lady strip club.

    Now, enter Michael "Dr. Metal" Gonsalves (D). He had a gig every Friday morning (6:30 to 11:00 am), playing music for the "Legs and Eggs" breakfast buffet at the Foxy Lady. So had he and Liz Arruda perhaps known each other?

    Sometimes the Station fire reminds me of the "Lost" TV-series, where all the characters lives had been intertwined long before they'd ever crashed on the island.
    Last edited by billoween; 06-23-2018 at 12:27 PM.

  42. #1042
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    Billoween, I'm seeing the statement when I click on Third Phase, then Witness Statements.

    A few years ago, I was at a birthday party for my cousin's baby here in L.A. Her mother-in-law is a doctor from India. She's worked in the US for several decades. She lives here now, but spent ten years in New England. We were discussing the peculiar traits of Rhode Islanders. She was looking for the perfect word to describe their contentment at only ever socialising with the same same small groups of people and being perfectly happy never to travel, even to nearby states.

    At the same time, I said, "Insular!"

    She said, "Incestuous!"

  43. #1043
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    Got it R. Lady! Thank you.


    --A Rob Feeney Miscellany--

    1.) The first time Rob Feeney ever talked to his future fiancee Donna Mitchell (D)--he'd already had his eye on her--was when they were side by side at a club bar and Donna got scared that she'd accidentally burned him with her cigarette. (talk about your foreshadowing.)

    2.) Speaking on the NFPA site, Feeney now seems to have a fuller explanation as to how he survived: Since he was crawling around in the atrium, and since that room was a step down from the main floor, he says he "had 7 or 8 extra inches to breathe [in]. And that is what probably saved me, having that extra 7 or 8 inches." (it may have even been 10 inches.)

    3.) On the Thursday of the fire, Donna Mitchell had gotten hurt slipping on ice near her home in Fall River. Around the same time, Rob Feeney was complaining about the pain he felt from an "inch-long splinter" he'd gotten from an old hand-rail. (maybe don't sweat the small stuff, turns out.)

    4.) Feeney has stated that he was about to give up until he felt someone tap him on the left shoulder. He reached around but could not feel anyone there. Then he felt the tapping again, and he started kicking his feet and resumed his crawling to escape somehow. (??)

    5.) Feeney remembers firefighters lifting him and carrying him to triage--which, coincidentally, was the nearby Cowesett Inn, where he and friends had just eaten dinner. There, they put him into an ambulance to be treated. So hopefully he never returned to the inside of the restaurant, because that would have been an almost sickeningly full-circle nightmare by this point. Who would ever want to see where they'd been sitting and having a good time with alive friends not even 2 hours earlier? Because, of course, it hadn't been just the newly engaged couple of Feeney and Mitchell having a nice pre-show dinner. They'd also brought along Donna's good friend Pam Gruttadauria (D). (yikes.)

    6.) (this from Barylick) "While awaiting transport to the hospital, Feeney noticed a shadow to his right, which he perceived to be his fiancee, Donna Mitchell." (after-shadowing?)

  44. #1044
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    Finally came across these just now (been at least a decade since I've last seen them, maybe longer)
    Chilling feeling finding these:

    Last edited by CWC67; 06-25-2018 at 08:02 PM.

  45. #1045
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    Nice CWC - I guess we now know that not everyone went to the show because they liked Great White. Thomas "Tommy" Barnett used to call them "Not So Great White."

    "Fathead" was reportedly Andrea Mancini's playful pet name for her husband, Steve.

  46. #1046
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    Yeah, I remember the days following all copies of "The Phoenix" were scooped up by the vultures.
    I had a couple in my car from frequenting the stores that stocked it in the days leading up to it.

  47. #1047
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    CWC-any interviews with survivors in those Phoenix's?


    People caught in the front door pile-up appear to have upped their chances of survival by doing one crucial thing: getting their shoes off. Evidently our feet can hold us back in tight spots--acting like little L-hooks that'll catch on everything. So when shoes do come off, it's no surprise that leg movement becomes all the more possible. It's funny how often shoes come up in the witness statements and interviews of front door survivors:


    1.) Liz Arruda - "I couldn't get out 'cause my feet were stuck in my sneakers so I wiggled out of [them]."

    2.) Rob Riffe - "Somehow, with my legs buried in the pile, I was able to kick my shoes off which gave me the extra inch or so that I needed and my legs slipped out."

    3.) Frederick Vallente - He was "pulled out of his boots" by a W.W.P.O. with an assist by an unidentified female.

    4.) John Fairbairn - He wiggled one foot from a sneaker (a new white Favia) and broke free.

    5.) Sharon Wilson - She's the gal who grabbed onto Robert Cripe's jacket, and he pulled, and she came out "without pants or shoes."

    6.) Adam Tanzi - "Finally, on the third or fourth pull, [Tanzi's] other shoe popped off and he came sliding out." (Providence Journal)

    7.) Stephen Bruno - "I pulled so hard [on the railing] that I twisted my leg and ripped my right sneaker off my foot in getting out."

    8.) Charles O'Berg - Pulled out with his back on fire; "slid out of his pants and shoes."


    -----Geez, next time I go and see a live band at "Club Tinderbox," I'm definitely going with the loafers.-----
    Last edited by billoween; 07-09-2018 at 03:31 PM.

  48. #1048
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    [QUOTE=billoween;1548669]CWC-any interviews with survivors in those Phoenix's?

    I am not sure, those were weekly free papers that you could get at gas stations/clubs/liquor stores.
    It started out as "The New Paper" then became "The Phoenix" and now it no longer exists.
    I held onto these (for obvious reasons) and had forgotten all about them until I went looking for some books I stashed away in the closet and found them after all this time.
    The thing that really got to me was all the names that we are so familiar with now because of this thread (and the first part)
    "Dr. Metal" "Fathead" "Trip" and then seeing the subsequent lineups that never came to be.
    Also, the date at the top is Feb 21 and they are advertising TONIGHT Feb 20, just the whole thing gives off a weird vibe......

  49. #1049
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    -----The Steve Burgess Story-----

    Did Jennifer Stocks of Newport have the perfect date for The Station nightclub fire, or what?

    She went to see Great White with Steve Burgess of Cranston (it was their second date) and he was especially good company that awful night because:
    1.) Years back, he used to play every week at The Station in a band called "Those Guys," and was very familiar with the nightclub's layout and exits. And,
    2.) Burgess was a Cranston fireman (Rescue Four in Garden City), after having served for four years with the West Warwick Fire Department.

    So yeah--Burgess got Jennifer Stocks and himself out in no time. His only delay in exiting had come when he got them to the 3' x 3' kitchen serving window, still thinking that there was a hinged door to the kitchen there, like in the old days. But then he and Stocks simply proceeded to the nearby kitchen door exit--still there--and got outside with a handful of people behind them. He was surprised actually at how few people were using the kitchen exit. Soon, he pops his head back in and already it's smokey down close to the floor. He could see straight through the club and saw "a glowing stage and dance floor."

    "It was completely flashing over," he later reported. But the fireman in him wasn't done yet. He told Stocks that he needed to help more people get out and suggested they meet up in a while. So she left to help out at the Cowesett Inn, and he stayed and pulled people from the bar windows.

    Soon, Engine #4 pulls in, and thanks to his time at the West Warwick F.D., Burgess actually knows everyone on the truck. He goes right to work with the hoses and all, and is only too happy to be taking orders from Lt. Roger St. Jean. Eventually he's done all he can do and locates his date, Jennifer Stocks across the street.

    But here's what got me the most: Burgess had done great things at the front door in the 3-to-4 minutes he put in. But later, when police interviewers asked him how long he had been there helping--and remember, this is a veteran fireman--he says, "it seemed like forever." Again, it was 3-to-4 minutes. And then he repeats himself, saying, "it seemed like forever."

    -----It's so weird how this super-traumatic event had a way of bending time for those in the thick of it.
    Last edited by billoween; 07-09-2018 at 03:33 PM.

  50. #1050
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    Richard Bravoco had much in common with Steve Burgess. He, too, was a musician who'd frequently played at The Station. And he was a firefighter, as well, but in Franklin, Massachusetts.

    Bravoco was not at the club on the night of the fire, like Burgess, but he had always imagined the possibility of a big blaze.

    "I hate to say it...but...I always called it a Coconut Grove waiting to happen," Bravoco told police interviewers. "...if you had to get out, [make] a fast egress, you could never get 200 people out of that in, you know, three to five minutes. It just wouldn't happen."

    Bravoco was the bass player for the band, "Masque," and he says that flash pots were a regular feature of his band's act. But they would always be provided with a fire extinguisher at The Station, just in case. And the band had actually discussed using the exit off the kitchen in an emergency.

    Bravoco's Coconut Grove fatalism was mostly based on the club's doors. He cites problems with most of The Station's exit doors, placing special blame on the single, middle-of-the-foyer door. (Adam Tanzi stands just inside of it in BB's video.)

    NIST also blames that door for deaths, painting it as the chief villain behind the front door pile-up. From the report: "The rate of egress was limited by the single door inside the vestibule--not by the double doors visible from the outside...add to that the merge from the bar exit into the vestibule."

    *Note: "Bravoco" is the correct spelling. But if you don't search the attorney general report using the incorrect "Bravocco" spelling, it won't come up.
    Last edited by billoween; 08-11-2018 at 05:16 PM.

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