Station Nightclub Fire: Case Study

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1. What was the occupancy history of the building? The building was constructed in 1946, designed to be a nightclub. The same building had changed ownership and names numerous times, and had been incarnated as not just a nightclub but also a restaurant and pub. Exact numbers of occupants at the time of the fire is unknown, estimated to be between 440 to 458 persons. When the fire started at the Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, the venue was 100 people over capacity, but "even the legal number was based on a bogus standing-room formula," (Seligson, 2013). An estimated 450 people were inside when the fire occurred (FEMA, 2011). 2. What were the pre-fire conditions of the building housing The Station Nightclub? Prior to the fire at the Station nightclub, a crowd of over 400 people was gathered to see a concert with Great White headling. At 11:07 PM, the lights inside the club were dimmed in preparation for the headliner band. When the band got on stage, multi-colored lights for the performance were activated for aesthetic effect. Additionally four pyrotechnic "gerbs" were ignited to get the crowd excited (Grosshandler, Bryner, Madrzykowski, & Kuntz, 2005, p. 2-1). 3. What were, if any, previous incidents at this building site? The building had survived for decades without any incident; except for some minor renovations, it was the same structure that had existed since1946. It was a nightclub named Julio's in the 1970s, and in 1972 the building was

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