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Station Fire Property Owner Donates Land for Memorial

Plymouth woman among those killed in 2003 nightclub fire.

West Warwick property owner Ray Villanova has agreed to donate the site of The Station nightclub for use as a permanent memorial to the 100 people killed in the Feb. 2003 blaze, according to the Associated Press.  Plymouth resident Christina DRienzo and her sister Theresa Rakoski, 30, of Taunton were among those killed in the fire. 

Villanova's lawyer, Dan McKiernan filed papers at West Warwick Town Hall on Friday morning transferring the land to the Station Fire Memorial Foundation.

The decision brings closure to a long-standing effort to secure the site of the tragedy by families of those killed.

The one condition of the transfer is that a suitable memorial be maintained at the site in perpetuity.

Despite Villanova's claims that he always intended the land be used as a memorial, delays have caused much strife for many of the victims' families. Last week, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and House Speaker Gordon Fox said they were looking into the legalities of seizing the land by eminent domain.

The fire was sparked on Feb. 20, 2003 by pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White. 

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