Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is exploring the use of eminent domain to seize the site of the Station nightclub fire, which claimed the lives of 100 people in West Warwick, so families of the victims and survivors can build a memorial.
The blaze took place Feb. 20, 2003, when Great White launched pyro inside the club, igniting flammable acoustic foam. Three people were convicted: club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and tour manager Daniel Biechele.
The Station Fire Memorial Foundation has been working to build a permanent memorial on the site but the land is owned by a private company and the owner has not donated or sold the land.
Dave Kane, a father of the youngest victim, called on the state to take the property after plans were announced to build a “satellite” memorial in neighboring Warwick. Chafee said he was open to the idea if families were behind it, and several told the Associated Press they would support the effort.