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Author: Subject: Rhode Island night club burns.....

Zen Peach





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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 07:54 AM
Rhode Island Nightclub Blaze Kills At Least 39
Officials Find Bodies Heaped In Doorways

POSTED: 6:28 a.m. EST February 21, 2003
UPDATED: 7:27 a.m. EST February 21, 2003

WEST WARWICK, R.I. -- At least 39 people are dead in a nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I., and there are fears the toll will go far higher, NBC 30 Connecticut News reported



At least 164 people have been hurt and taking to hospitals as far away as Boston. A fire captain said that the bodies of as many as 39 people have been found inside the club, many near the front door. They were apparently caught in a frantic rush toward the exits when the fire broke out.

The fire is being blamed on a pyrotechnics display put on as part of a concert by the rock group, Great White. Flames quickly engulfed the one-story building.

Chief Charles Hall, of the West Warwick Fire Department, said that the fire spread rapidly throughout the building.

"The building was fully engulfed inside of 3 minutes," Hall said.

Hall said that the positioning of the bodies showed the "panic" and "chaos" that filled the club after the fire started.

Great White singer Jack Russell said that he checked with the club's manager before the show and got a go ahead for the fireworks. But he said he could feel the heat of the flames on stage, adding "This place went up like the Fourth of July."



"The fire spread really fast," Russell told NBC 30's Alex Boyer.

NBC 30 Connecticut News reported from the scene that the fire broke out about 11 p.m. at a club called The Station. Video from the scene showed heavy smoke coming from the building. The fire was brought under control about 12:45 a.m.

Witnesses estimated there were 300 to 400 people in the club. Witnesses said patrons ran for exits and broke windows to escape the flames.

The station reported that Kent Hospital treated at least 40 patients, according to spokesman Brian Wallin. Rhode Island Hospital reported it treated 60 patients. Dr. Selim Suner said the hospital was transferring 10 patients to regional burn centers. Suner said the victims suffered severe burns to the face and airways. He described some of the injuries as life-threatening.

All available ambulances in the state were called to the scene.



Russell told the TV station that the fire started just as the band was beginning its first song. Russell described the walls as being covered in some type of foam. He said he turned around to see the ceiling and walls on fire.


 

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True Peach



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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 08:07 AM
That's just terrible. In my opinion, the club owner is going to be at fault here. Anytime there are pyrotechnics involved in a show or revue, it is the responsibility of the owner of the venue to notify and have the fire inspector (or representative of the fire chief) review plans and issue approval before the event can take place. However, it is also my opinion that the person in charge of the production of the display should have been competant enough to examine the venue and take into account such things as ceiling height, mechanical capabilities (exhaust systems) and materials used in construction of walls and ceiling, This isn't the kind of production that should be left to a fireworks enthusiast. It will be interesting to see if there was a license for pyrotechnics issued for this show or venue in the first place.

My sympathies to the victims and their families.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 08:07 AM
I am so sad to hear the news this morning, its all over the news and I'm in FL now. I have been to that club a few times, The Station, and its so crazy to see it on the news!
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 09:31 AM
This is a tragedy that never should have occured. Why can't people use common sense? There should have been no pyrotechnics in a building that small.
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 11:16 AM
I was thinking the same thing Scotty. Why would you have that sort of show in a small place. I'm going to a venue tomorrow night (no pyrotechnics), but I have a good mind to ask if the fire exits are easily accessible to everyone in case of an emergency...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 11:36 AM
Jack Russell says they got permission to use pyro. There was someone with the bar that was saying on CNN that they didn't have permission to use pyro.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 11:51 AM
They had permission from the club owner but never obtained a permit from the fire marshall. There were four exits too and most people only knew of two. It is being said that the other two were obstructed.
This is just awful. I saw some of the video footage on TV from inside the venue when the fire first started. Very frightening to watch. God bless those people and their families and the band who have most likely lost their guitarist.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:04 PM
I can't get over the fact that there was a huge explosion at an oil refinery in NY, and the flames were shotting a couple hundred feet into the air, and there were no fatalities, and a small club catches on fire and 65 people are killed!! It blows my mind, and really saddens my heart. my heart gos out to all of the people involved with that.
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:08 PM
chic, FYI, there was 1 fatality (according to the report I read) and one more person is in the ER with extensive burns...

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:32 PM
Oh, I didnt know that. thanks Fschiazza. Stilll a crazy comparison though.
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:38 PM
Definitely... Actually, I can't help but think that the fire, for all the coverage it's getting, wasn't that bad... I mean, the only way a story touches me is if someone dies. Regardless of how big the blaze was, only 1 person died, as compared to the 54+ that died in the club...

Tragic stuff...

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:55 PM
I just heard the toll is up to 75 now! OMG!!!
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 01:59 PM
Now, how many folks were victims of the fire, & how any were victims of being trampled when people ran for the exit?

75? Ridiculous.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 02:10 PM
www.cnn.com reports "at least 85" are confirmed dead...

That's just mind-boggling!

[Edited on 2/21/2003 by fschiazza]

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 02:22 PM
OMG!!!! Its just so awful! I was born and raised in RI, I wonder if anyone I know was in there??
 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 02:46 PM
CNN.com now says at least 85. What a tragedy.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 03:10 PM
Howdy folks, I posted something on the GB...........but it can't hurt to share

Has someone checked out the Beacon for safety measures, back up lighting, evacuation plans, exits, fire escapes, extinguishers, etc., etc.

One hopes that the Beacon theatre would be very safe, but it just takes one act of negligence, stupidity, or even worse, malice, to make a tragedy.

I for one hope that the ABB insists upon and personally inspect all emergency provisions at the theater......Anyone gettting a sense of that as process?

Carlos

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 03:34 PM
Maybe I'm paranoid, but I have always looked for every exit when I go somewhere. I hope everyone on this board who doesn't look, starts now.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 03:57 PM
It just passed fire inspection too. Hows that for cruel irony.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 05:29 PM
quote:
OMG!!!! Its just so awful! I was born and raised in RI, I wonder if anyone I know was in there??


I'm a native of Rhode Island, born and raised, moved in '96. Some of my buds frequent the Station on a regular basis, and I got in touch with all of them. What I want to know is where was the fire sprinkler system. That would have probably stopped the fire. As of 5:00 the count is up to 95 killed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victems and their families.
Russ

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 05:37 PM
A building of that type, built in the year it is not required to be sprinklered (that's the term for a building with fire sprinklers). I would be interested in finding out if the number of occupants (patrons in this case) exceeded the number approved by the fire marshall for this building. I went to a show at an indoor venue about 6 years ago and left (even after having paid 25 bucks each for two tickets) almost as soon as I got there because the place was a sardine can. Promoters are known for "fudging" the number of tickets sold in order to sell more tickets.

Call me paranoid, but whenever I board a plane I not only look for the nearest exit -I walk over and touch it. When I check into a hotel I look to see if the room is sprinklered, then I take a little walk to find where all of the exits are.

There's a saying among firefighters: "don't make an ash of yourself".

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 05:44 PM
Unfortunately there did not have to be a sprinkler system because it was such a small venue. This really sucks that this had to happen but there are a lot of new rules that will be applied to these small places and there are many of them around this way.
Argie, glad that you got in touch with friends today and know that they are safe. I have friends around there too. It's pretty close to here.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 05:55 PM
Just found out the death toll is 95, this is not counting all those who's burns are going to leave them maimed and disfigured. My question is, who's responsible here, the club manager for telling the band that it was alright to use the pyros, or the band itself, for not having the common sense to see that they were in a wooden building without a sprinkler system and not bothering to ask whether or not the club had a permit from the fire department to use the pyro displays. The common thread here between the tragedy in R.I. and Chicago is people not using simple common sense. These tragedies should have never had occured.
 
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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 05:56 PM
I understand in a panic stricken environment things are crazy but I'm really surprised at the number of people that did not make it out.
I've been to so many places over the years where you see exits chained or locked or blocked or whatever...don't understand...I think they do this to keep people out but in contrast everyone is locked in!!

 

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  posted on 2/21/2003 at 06:33 PM
I feel really bad for all of the folks that were killed or otherwise hurt. One thing I have to question is why GW were using any type, size or kind of pyrotechnics in such a small place to begin with. This, to me, is not showing a whole lot of common sense. I see why the owners of the place allowed it; they were just trying to line their greedy little pockets. The band or their manager should have told them not to use the pyrotechnics in this small of a club. Both parties are wholly responsible for this tragedy. I can still see Jack Russell blaming it on the club owners for some sort of flammable wall coverings.
 
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