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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  December 25, 2004
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Last Survivor Hospitalized From Station Nightclub Fire Goes Home
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BOSTON (AP) -- The last hospitalized survivor of The Station Nightclub Fire, which left 100 people dead and nearly 200 injured, has returned home to continue his recovery.

Joe Kinan, 34, was discharged on Tuesday from Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital after 320 days of treatment there and at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Kinan was burned over his arms and much of the upper half of his body, losing his fingers and portions of his nose and ears.

Kinan was transferred from Mass General to the rehabilitation unit on July 23. He endured more than 30 operations in the first five months after the Feb. 20 blaze, and more surgeries at Spaulding since.

"He continues to fight to make a very heroic recovery that is certainly going to involve future surgeries and struggles," said Patrick Jones, Kinan's attorney.

Kinan, 34, lived in Canton before the fire, has declined to talk about his ordeal publicly. Jones said he will be living in the Boston area, but his family declined to be specific about the location.

Joel Stein, the chief medical officer at Spaulding who presided over Kinan's care, said the patient requested that details of his case not be made public. His injuries required operations to remove dead skin, transplant healthy skin and keep vital organs functioning.

He was hospitalized for more than two months before he was well enough to speak. He and Pamela Gruttadauria were two of the most seriously injured survivors treated at Mass General; Gruttadauria died May 4.

"In terms of the amount of rehabilitation needed, I don't think you'll find anybody who needs more than burn patients," Stein said. "A severely burned person, in terms of rehabilitation resources, can consume more than stroke patients, more than someone with a spinal cord injury."

Kinan's sister, Pam Kinan, said her brother had no health insurance through his job at a tuxedo shop, but that she had secured him coverage after the fire from the state's insurance plan, MassHealth. She was uncertain how large his hospital bills would be, and how much would be covered by insurance.

Last Monday, Rhode Island General Treasurer Paul Tavares said survivors of the fire and families of the victims can apply for up to $25,000 from a state fund that helps pay expenses of crime victims not covered by insurance, such as medical bills.

Investigators contend the fire began when a rock band's pyrotechnics ignited the club's ceiling. Last month, involuntary manslaughter charges were filed against club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and the Great White band's tour manager Dan Biechele. Each has pleaded innocent.

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