And this guy came into my world after I had been married for 13 years in an abusive marriage — I finally got out of that with my two children, and this man comes along and puts me on a pedestal and treated me like a queen and showed these two little boys that women are treated with respect.

And I still believe he, 10 years later, is the reason why I do so well in my life. And my kids are very respectful of everything he taught them in such a short amount of time and they still remember it.

We just loved music — we loved rock music. When we were meeting, the first [few] times, he kept saying, "Do you really like this music?" and I'm like, "Yeah, it's what I grew up with." I didn't like disco, I didn't want to be in the clubs downtown. I wanted to listen to hard rock — the louder the better, and if it was live, even better.

Just the month before the fire, we'd gone to the Avalon in Boston and seen the band Tesla. They were with a group of other [musicians] — Vince Neil, Jackyl, all these crazy bands. Tesla was always our favorite. Now, I'm pretty good friends with the guys from Tesla, all because of this. And all I think is, "God, what's Fred thinking when I'm hanging out with them."

Losing him was definitely worse than the burns and worse than the lung damage and definitely a harder situation to deal with.

TELL ME ABOUT HIM SHOWING UP AT THE HOUSE THAT NIGHT.

GINA: I come from a big Italian family and every Thursday was dinner at my mom's house. And I had taken the day off from work and taken the kids sledding — it was school vacation week. Fred was meeting us there for dinner and his son was home — he wasn't coming that night. When Fred came from the house, he had just come straight from work, so he was all in his painting clothes. But he was having a snowball fight outside with the boys and just before he'd come into the house — and I found this out five months later — my neighbor had pulled up and they said hello and he said to her, "What a great day to be alive." And she couldn't come near me or see me after the fire for months because she only had that in her head and he was dead a few hours later.

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SO WHEN GREAT WHITE COMES ON THE STAGE AND SETS OFF THE PYROTECHNICS AND THE FOAM SOUNDPROOFING CATCHES ON FIRE, HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO REALIZE WHAT WAS GOING ON?

GINA: Honestly, as soon as the pyrotechnics went up. Fred has some pyrotechnic experience. [We were up by the stage and] he saw the [pyrotechnics] sitting right to the side of us and he said to me, "They're too big for this building," and then he said, "look at the drummer's alcove" — the spark was already on the black drape hanging behind the drummer. And he grabbed me. And we put our drinks right at [frontman] Jack Russell's feet and Jack is singing and doing his thing, and literally — this is all in seconds — walked three steps to a fire exit to our right and encountered a bouncer who didn't let us out the door. We're screaming, "There's a fire." And he's screaming, "Club policy — band only."

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