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Great White @ The Station fire

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Peter Squire, May 11, 2006.

  1. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Kind of hard to believe it's been 3 years.

  2. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    From what I've read of the case I don't think they're putting the right guy in jail.
    If the place had fire-retardant foam it would have never killed anyone and they need to go nail the two who built the place so unsafe in the first place.
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That is the band's manager, not the owner of the club. The club owners have plead not guilty and go on trial next.

    In a way, I feel sorry for this guy. That being said, using pyrotechnics in a small venue is a stupid idea, causing many deaths and now he will pay for it.
  4. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    +1. The Fire Marshall visited the place on several occasions, and never cited the club for having the flammable material on the walls and ceiling. If he did, this terrible tragedy never would have happened. However, as a public employee, he enjoys total immunity. I'm not saying he's the only one to blame, but he should have been indicted at the very least. IMHO.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    When I was in college in the hair band days, the band I was in used pyro (flash pots) in a club that looked shockingly like that in the news coverage I saw of the Great White fire. Both the drum riser in the place I played at - as well as the stage - was carpeted. The back wall had a loosely hanging black fabric sheet over it. The ceiling was fairly low above the stage area.

    Nobody, from the band, the bar owner and staff, and the two guys from the sound company EVER questioned the logic of using the pyro. In hindsight, its pretty scary. Nobody ever even THOUGHT let alone ASKED whether any of those materials MIGHT have been flammable. Whether they were flammable materials or not, nobody even thought enough about it, thought nothing at all.

    If you are going to use pyro, you need to ASK and INQUIRE. If you don't take the effort, then you're being irresponsible, as I and my bunch were back in the 80's.
  6. naja


    Oct 14, 2005
    East TN
    Yes, I agree. A friend of my wife's was in that fire. She lived, but got badly burned before she was pulled out. Basically lost her hands....if only the fire marshall had cited them. I hope the owners get a longer sentence personally....
  7. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i saw the manager on cnn who was obviously totally destroyed mentaly by what had happened ....my first thoughts as someone who was not connected in any way with this incident was that he was a scapegoat for this .

    He didnt set out to kill 100 people and yet he probably got more time than say someone who killed say one person with malice but got lightly off with diminished resonsibility.

    who the hell installed flamable foam throughout an enclosed space .....who allowed it...who considerd it was safe....now thats the guy that should be brought to the dock!!
  8. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    I gotta say, I feel bad for the manager too. He used exceedingly poor judgement, but I don't think society needs to be protected from the guy. He's got to live with this for the rest of his life. :(

    It seems more creative sentencing might be in order.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    From what I read in the linked article, it seems like the judge pretty much agrees with you.
  10. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca

    i hope that no one ever makes the same mistake again. :(
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My first reaction to this quote was "I know that "I" certainly won't use pyro again, because now I'm old, fat, washed-up and it would be ridiculous.

    . . . then I realized that the same applied for Great White at that point . . . . go figure . . . . at least one of those guys had to be pushing 50 . . .
  12. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    There was a LOT of talk about this locally. I work about
    2 miles away from the site.

    Feelings ran very high on this, as was to be expected.
    Even though the band tour manager plead guilty to 100
    counts of misdemeanor manslaughter, the judge did
    allow every family that lost a member to address the court
    if they so wished. The feelings expressed ranged from despair,
    rage, hopelessness, guilt, and vindictiveness to forgiveness
    and stoicism.

    This guy broke down repeatedly and cried when hearing
    the survivor's comments. He took personal responsibilty for
    all of it and stood up to that.

    Four years in jail is a long time. The judge did feel even
    though this was an accident, that many people had perished
    and some people will have to be found accountable.

    One of the precedents set for the Derderians, the club's
    owners is that someone is already sentenced to real jail
    time, not probation or community service over this. They
    have plead not guilty and will have their day in court.

    My opinion is that they may not be exclusively responsible
    for the fire, but their negligence and total disregard of people's
    safety and well being contributed heavily to the disaster.

    Did I mention that they, in spite of specific laws requiring
    all employers to do so, they failed to carry workmans comp
    for their employees? All the medical fees are being assisted
    through ongoing fundraisers, the WHJY 'Doc' fund named
    for noted overnight metal DJ Michael J. Goncalves, first
    'Dr. Metal', and 'Doc to his friends as well as the Station
    Family Fire Fund. Doc perished right after introducing the band
    on stage.

    Also, the Derderians have filed personal bankruptcy to avoid
    being held personally responsible for their failure to carry
    WC, after a RI Workmans Comp court ruled they could be
    held personally responsible for this failure reversing a Labor
    Board ruling; in effect, 'piercing the corporate veil'.

    They had the option of buying flame retardent foam for
    soundproofing the club. They chose not to, as it was twice
    as expensive. Also, there is talk that the bouncers barred
    people from leaving by the stage exit doors. Insane.
    If you weren't out in the first 30 seconds, you didn't make it.

    They will have their day of reckoning.

    This event affected the whole state. Its a small state with
    a great sense of community. But no one is forgetting about
    this at all, believe me.

    Some positive legal changes have been made to prevent
    a re-occurrence of this disaster, including flammable foam
    abatement, sprinkler system requirements and stricter
    fire safety inspections. There has been a significant undercurrent
    of club owners fighting these requirements. One would think
    that having seen the situation of the Derderian's they would
    wise up. Not so, they continue to put their wallet well ahead
    of your safety.

    Interestingly, Jack Russell seems to play almost no role in
    any of this other than donating an unspecified portion of his
    show proceeds to the Station Family Fund.

    This is probably a good time to stop, as it is bringing it
    all back.

    If you have any desire to help out, here is a link to

    The Station Family Fund


  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Agreed. But let's face it: That's rock 'n' roll. How many members of a band, the band's road crew or even the subcontractors are likely to have received training in the proper use of pyrotechnics? Or can function as competent electricians? Or even have decent mechanical skills? Music is an industry, but such careful, well-prepared professionalism is just not the mindset that prevails in the industry - so that's not the way the industry is organized...

    Frankly, the Great White/Station disaster has raised my consciousness about potentially dangerous venues & situations, as an audience member. I'll enjoy the show, sure. But I always scope out the venue for fire exits, look for any potentially dangerous structures in the room, observe how crowded the room becomes, remain sensitive to the mood of the crowd, etc.

    Conditions that seem reasonably safe earlier in the evening can rapidly spiral out of control once people become disoriented by the darkened room, loud music, booze and/or dope, etc. And if in those circumstances something should happen to spook or provoke the crowd, the panic or rage of several hundred or several thousand people can become the greatest source of danger itself.

    A word to the wise... :meh:

  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    And just what the hell is wrong with being 50??? :mad:
  15. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Nothing! Actually, 50 is the new "20."
  16. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    By contrast we had the local fire marshall try to stop construction of our Ice Museum because of no sprinkler system!:eyebrow:
    The whole place is made of ice, under which is fire retardant foam insulation and fire retardant carpet on the floor.

    I'll say it again, the owners and the fire marshall need to be nailed to the wall for this.:scowl:
  17. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Unfortunately, it often takes a disaster to wake us up and recognize recklessness that often went unnoticed before. If greater awareness is the result, at least the tragedy is not a total loss. The loss of life in the Titanic's sinking led to a number of reforms, including adequate lifeboat capacity, ships having manned radio communication around the clock, etc.

    Putting flammable foam on the ceiling was reckless. Shooting off gerbs in a small club, let alone without without licensing and safety precations, was reckless.

    At the time of the fire, there might've been hundreds of places across the US, and even more around the world, where something similar could've happened under a particular combination of circumstances. I'm sure there are far fewer now; I would hope that there are none, but I doubt that human nature is a little too tenacious in some respects.

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