WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Gina Russo never thought she would survive the aftermath of the Station nightclub fire.

Russo, known as an outspoken survivor of the tragedy, told 12 News it left survivors and first responders with both physical and mental scars.

“There’s very powerful survivor’s guilt,” Russo said. “Why did I get to live and one of those 100 people didn’t? Why did I survive but my fiancé didn’t? Very, very powerful survivor’s guilt.”

She now counsels new burn survivors through the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors—the same program that supported her as she recovered from third- and fourth-degree burns.

“When I was injured and in the hospital still, I had what is called peer supporters come and visit me, and at the time I remember thinking, ‘These ladies are crazy. I’m going to live normal life?’ I was bandaged, I was a mess,” Russo recalled. “And after a while, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m going to be OK.'”

Russo lost her fiancé, Fred Crisostomi, in the fire that claimed 100 lives on Feb. 20, 2003. More than 200 others were injured after pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing foam insulation during a Great White concert at the West Warwick nightclub.

“No, we’ve never experienced something like this … our fire departments, our EMS workers, God,” Russo said. “What they witnessed that night is something they will never really recover from.”

A memorial honoring victims, survivors and first responders now sits at the former site of the club.

Twenty years after the fire, Russo told 12 News she hopes Rhode Islanders will continue to honor those affected—both the victims and survivors.

“No matter how bad you think your day is—think about this,” Russo added. “And be grateful, number one: that maybe you didn’t lose someone and you were not injured in this. And go out and do something. Do something happy, say hello to someone that you would’ve never said hello to. That’s how we honor them.”