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Friday, February 1, 2013

Station Nightclub Fire Has Parallels To Brazil Blaze

Police investigators survey the site of The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I., in Feb., 2003. (AP)

Police investigators survey the site of The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I., in Feb., 2003. (AP)

The fire that killed at least 235 people in Brazil last Sunday has eerie similarities to the fire at Rhode Island’s Station nightclub, which happened 10 years ago this month. The fire killed 100 people and left 200 with injuries.

Police in Brazil say the blaze in the Kiss nightclub likely began when the band lit a flare during its performance, which ignited soundproofing foam.

Samples of the soundproofing foam that was a contributing factor to the Station night club fire. Top: egg-crate polyurethane (PU) foam. Bottom: polyethylene (PE) foam. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Samples of the soundproofing foam that was a contributing factor to the Station night club fire. Top: egg-crate polyurethane (PU) foam. Bottom: polyethylene (PE) foam. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

At The Station, the fire began when the band Great White set off pyrotechnics during its performance, which also ignited soundproofing foam.

We revisit our conversation with John Barylick, one of the lead attorneys for the victims in The Station nightclub fire.

His book, “Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert,” is a thorough examination of the circumstances that led to the tragedy, the events of that night and the lawsuits that followed.

As he told Here & Now back in September, though pyrotechnics triggered the fire, several other factors contributed to the number of fatalities, including the insufficient number of fire exits and the flammable nature of the soundproofing.

“Certainly, had the walls not been covered with what one analyst called ‘solid gasoline,’ that too would have saved the patrons,” he said.

Guest:


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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