Remembering “The Station”

February 23, 2003 is a day that will go down in history—for all the wrong reasons. That day is noted as one of the deadliest nightclub fires in the history of the United States. That evening at “The Station”, a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the heavy metal band Great White played a show that would prove to be deadly.

According to data published in the TruTV Crime Library, this fire took the lives of 100 people that evening, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley. Another 230 individuals were injured. Of those who were attending that evening, only 132 escaped without any sort of physical injury.

The fire started when pyrotechnics that were part of the band’s show sparked and ignited the polyurethane foam that made up part of the stage. This pyrotechnic show is where much of the debate about this particular situation takes place. The Station was not equipped to handle a pyrotechnic show with the flammable polyurethane nearby and a lack of sprinkler system. Club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian claim they did not give permission for pyrotechnics to be used, while band members and the band’s manager assert that permission was granted.

While the truth may never be known, the result of this tragic accident was a fire that engulfed The Station within five and a half minutes, destroyed the building and lead to the deaths and injuries noted previously. It is hard to look for a silver lining in a situation as dire as this one; however, this fire did lead to more extensive regulation of clubs and concert venues which may perhaps save lives in the future.

Bar and club owners need to educate themselves about the dangers of fires and panic situations (stampedes) that can accidently occur and do everything possible to protect their patrons. While customer and employee safety is the number one concern in the case of any type of accident, as a business owner, you have to keep your financial security in mind as well.

One of the best ways to do that is by investing in a quality bar and nightclub insurance policy, such as the one available through Greenwood Insurance Group. Spend some time talking with one of the expert agents at Greenwood. This is the best way to make certain you are protected from any sort of accident, incident or any other occurrence that could lead to financial ruin within your company.

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