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Deadly Rhode Island nightclub fire remembered 10 years later

WEST WARWICK, R.I. – Survivors and family members of the 100 people killed in a Rhode Island nightclub fire are observing the 10th anniversary of the blaze, which broke out when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable packing foam that had been installed inside the club as soundproofing.

The anniversary is Wednesday. The group organized a 1 p.m. service Sunday at the West Warwick site of the fire, where survivors, victims’ families, a surgeon who helped in the tragedy, Gov. Lincoln Chafee, and former Gov. Don Carcieri plan to make remarks.

The names of the dead will be read aloud, and The Station Fire Memorial Foundation is to unveil its final plans to build a permanent memorial at the site. A makeshift memorial that includes handmade crosses, photos and mementos of the dead now marks the site.

The permanent memorial will include the name of each person who died, as well as commemorate the survivors, first responders and those who helped care for families of the dead and survivors in the weeks and months after the fire. It will also include a gazebo.

Families will be asked to remove personal mementos from the site. Those items that are left behind will be buried in a capsule under what is now the parking lot. There will be no digging on the land under where the club once stood because of the fear of disturbing human remains.

While many of the materials and labor to build the memorial will be donated, foundation officials say they need to raise $1 million to $2 million to build and maintain it.

The foundation hopes to break ground in the spring. Construction of the new memorial could take longer than a year.

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