Dina Ann DeMaio
WEST WARWICK, R.I.
Dina Ann DeMaio wasn't supposed to be at The Station the night the deadly fire broke out.
It was her 30th birthday, but she'd been asked to work that night instead of her usual Friday waitress shift. The single mother, a legal secretary, had been working at the club part time since November to earn extra money as she supported herself and her 7-year-old son, Justin.
"It's a terrible loss," said DeMaio's grandfather, Vincent. ". . . He lost her when he needed her most."
When she wasn't working at the club, DeMaio attended night classes at Johnson & Wales University, pursuing a certificate in paralegal affairs. During the day, she worked as a legal secretary at Textron Financial Corp., where she was remembered as ambitious, hard-working, and so well-organized that she could anticipate what her bosses needed before they asked for it.
Co-workers said the rigorous schedule was typical of Dina, who was always striving to make a better life for herself and her son. The company has established a trust fund to benefit Justin.
Co-worker Dawn Brindamour said she had planned to go to The Station to help DeMaio celebrate her birthday on that fateful Thursday, but she and a dozen friends decided to take her out the following night instead.
"It's very difficult. . . ." said Brindamour. "She was extremely outgoing. She definitely had a presence. In a general sense for all of us who knew Dina, she made our lives easier."