New Documentary Released on 10th Anniversary of 2003 Tragedy
Web series promotes learning, remembering, and healing
February 21, 2013 (Providence, RI) – The first episode in a new seven-part documentary web series, “The Station,” also referred to as “The Station Movie,” premiers today, the 10th anniversary of The Station nightclub fire, the fourth deadliest fire in the nation’s history. The episode is available for free instant streaming on the project’s website, www.thestationmovie.com, and companion YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/TheStationWebSeries.
Subsequent episodes will be posted on consecutive Wednesdays thereafter.
“The Station,” the first-ever documentary about The Station fire, reveals the stories of an array of individuals directly affected by the tragedy—a list that includes survivors, family members of individuals who perished in the fire, first responders, and hospital specialists who treated burn victims.
According to “The Station” director David Bettencourt, the purpose of the project is captured by its straightforward tagline: “Learn. Remember. Heal.”
“This is as much an educational endeavor as it is an effort to tell compelling stories to a mass audience,” said Bettencourt, whose other films have covered diverse topics including Rocky Point Park and tuberculosis in America.
Since beginning production on “The Station” in 2011, Bettencourt has traveled extensively, speaking publicly about fire safety and the potential influence his project could have on the topic.
“This project is an effort to raise awareness, promote education, and change the way people think about fire safety.”
The tragedy, which claimed the lives of 100, started a new national dialogue about fire safety procedures that has led to a surge in fire code improvements. However, according to Bettencourt, the recent nightclub fire that killed 233 people in Brazil is a clear indication that further aggressive action is still needed. Additionally, it was recently revealed that some Rhode Island nightclubs are not adhering to stricter fire codes introduced after The Station fire.
Bettencourt, a Rhode Island-based filmmaker, joined forces with Tyco, the world’s largest fire protection and security company, to produce “The Station.” In addition to providing financial support, Tyco is promoting and sharing the episodes internally to its 69,000 employees worldwide.
Bettencourt feels that “The Station” will also serve as a tribute not only to those who perished, but also to survivors, their loved ones, and first responders.
“This collection of stories will celebrate the lives of those who were lost and preserves the legacy of this catastrophic and preventable event,” said Bettencourt.
In the first episode, Gina Russo tells viewers how her fiancé Fred Crisostomi, who perished in the fire, renewed her love for music. She shares details leading up to the fateful night and her very last memory of being in The Station nightclub.
“For me, going to The Station on February 20th was probably only the fifth time I had been there,” Russo says. “It was fun, it was local, and they played live music. Anyone who played live rock, we were going.”
Russo continues, “Fred said to me, ‘Look at that, there’s something wrong.’ Fred’s hand was on my back at one point, and all I remember was him pushing me and screaming ‘Go!’
She adds, “The last thing I remembered was hitting the hard wood floor of the club.”
“The Station” presents an opportunity for survivors like Russo to tell stories that will continue to help them and others still coping with the healing process, even a decade after the tragedy.
The first episode also features Alison Musco, staff nurse at Shriner’s Hospital in Boston, where severe burn victims like Russo were admitted and treated. “I worked pretty closely taking care of her,” Musco says, “and working with her family.”
Musco describes Russo’s condition as archival images of Russo’s severe burn injuries appear on-screen.
“I’m surviving and surviving well,” says Russo, whose physical scars are hardly visible anymore. Russo says she owes her strong progress to the overflow of support and the relationships she established in the wake of The Station fire.
“We get very close to the families and the patients themselves, and they become part of our family. So a lot of it is from the heart because you get to know them so well,” Musco adds.
“With the help of Tyco, we’re bringing the stories to the web hoping to play some small role in healing this community,” said Bettencourt.
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