Rhode Island Fire Victims Unite

Norman Miller of the Daily News Tribune reports that several survivors of the deadly Station nightclub fire in February have helped start the Station Family Fund, a nonprofit organization benefiting victims and relatives of those injured or killed in the Station fire.

"When I was in the hospital, I didn't talk to anyone," Lizz Arruda, who was burned over a quarter of her body, said on Tuesday (July 15). "I didn't want to see anyone. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't meet any of these guys," referring to the other victims that have joined forces to launch the Fund.

Donna Reis, 43, of North Providence said, "I had a tough time dealing with the fact that I got out and [my fiance, Carl Howorth] didn't. Before I found everyone, I was a mess. We have a strong bond with each other."

That's why the fund was started, Todd King said, to give survivors from the fire that killed 100 people a purpose — a way to deal emotionally with the tragedy.

"We had to do something," said King, 33. "We found each other online. We saw a report on a woman injured in the fire who was homeless now, and a lot of us had the same feeling — how could something like this happen. We all started talking, and we wanted to help."

Todd King was at the Station fire, but escaped without injuries.

The organization, which began with eight survivors, has grown to more than 20 active members. So far the nonprofit group has raised $10,000 and has given out $8,000 for funerals, medical care, paying bills or buying groceries to those affected by the fire.

"After the fire, there was no focus," said King. "This became our focus. It (the money) goes from our hands to the people. That's how charities are supposed to work. This is survivors helping other survivors do the right thing." Read more.

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