Welcome to the official website for Joe Kinan; survivor of the Rhode Island Station Nightclub Fire. The goal of this website is to educate and spread awareness regarding the Rhode Island Station Nightclub fire. Also, our mission is to show support and compassion for other burn survivors.
Show your support for Joe and “Do It For Joe!”
"Joe Kinan is a man who loves, cares & shares. He is compassionate, tenacious & unrelenting."
I’m Joe Kinan. On February 20th, 2003 I attended a rock concert with a childhood friend of 20 years, Karla Jean Maraglia. That night at The Station nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island, an illegal pyro-techniques display on the stage ignited sound proofing petroleum based foam which was highly flammable, caused the club to go up in flames.
The nightclub was over capacity, and realizing quickly what was going on, I made my way from near the front of the stage to the entrance with Karla on my left. In an effort to protect her, I placed my leather vest over her head. Everyone quickly started pushing toward the doors causing a stampede. As we made it towards the exit people fell in front of me and then on top of us. Karla did not survive, but thankfully she was not burned.
I was trapped but conscious, I could hear everything going on around me. The sounds of people screaming were loud, and after a while it was just me. Then next I heard the voice of a firefighter, “we’ve got one over here.”
I was pulled out by two firefighters, placed on a stretcher, and once in the ambulance they asked me my name and gave me pain medicine. That is the last thing I remember as they rushed me to the nearest hospital.
Hours later I was put on Med Flight to Mass General Hospital and was placed in a medically induced coma in the Burn ICU where I underwent surgeries every other day for 3 months.
Once they brought me out of my coma I immediately understood and accepted what was going on. I couldn't change what had happened, now it was time to move forward, thats how I have always worked.
I spent the next 50 weeks between the hospital and Spaulding Rehab. Even after I was sent home, for several weeks, at the end of every day I would feel as if I needed to go "home" to the hospital. To this day I feel a sense of comfort and security when I am there for surgeries, it will always be a home away from home.
To date I have had 136 surgeries and counting. I will continue to have "tune ups" aka scar release procedures for the rest of my life.
I built this website as an outlet to create awareness and to let people know that it is possible to have everything that you are familiar with and that take for granted each day, can change in an instant.
I have had to re-learn and figure out how to "do" almost everything again. When I think back on my definition of a "bad day" prior to this catastrophic event, I realize how much we all take for granted each and every day.
I would like people to have understanding and compassion for burn survivors like myself. Educate yourselves and your children, we all have differences. Some you can see, some you can't, mine are just out in the open and obvious and some peoples are internal.
This experience has taught me I am a tenacious individual and I will continue to persevere each day.
If you would like to help support this cause, donate using the link at the bottom of this page.
In Oct 4 2012 Carrie and I were engaged in Vancouver BC, the same place where we met years before.
Two days later I received a call telling me a donor had been found for my left hand. On Oct 7 I went in for a 15 hour surgery to replace my left stump with an amazing working hand.
It has now been over a year and I am doing great. My Occupational Therapy has ended and I am getting back to living. I use my hand whenever possible, washing my car, cooking, even opening bottles or jars, these are all things that were nearly impossible a year ago.
Carrie and I also have a baby on the way, she's due April 2014.
Carrie and I were married March 24 2017 with a small group of friends and family, it was a perfect day in paradise.
I would say Im living my life to its fullest!