Reflection Assignment |
The Killer Show |
EVNT 6000: Event and Operations ManagementElizabeth A. VanPatten, MS, CH |
5 Points: 2
1. The Condition of the Building 2
2. The Club Owner, Staff, Band manager, and the Fire Marshal 4
3. Failed Crowd Control and Evacuation 5
4. Damage Caused by Fire 5
5. Visible and Invisible Harm 7
Legal Action: 9
Safety for Future: 10
1. The Condition of the Building
The Station nightclub was a single-story wood frame building with a footprint of about 4484 square feet and a small basement. The building was constructed in 1946 and it was sold, modified, ...view middle of the document...
And later when Derderian brothers took over the club in 2000, another level of extremely flammable plastic foam (which was called as “Solid gasoline” by the fire safety experts) was added inside the club. To ensure the sound isolate effects, the foam ran the length of the south wall, and then spread over the entire proscenium arch of the west stage wall, lining the drummer’s alcove and continuing to the right of the stage, across an inward-swinging door with a sign that read: “KEEP DOOR CLOSED AT ALL TIMES”. The stuff even ran up one sloped ceiling pitch above the dance floor — nine hundred square feet in all (Barylick).
Although the Rhode Island state building code at that time required sprinklers in all places of public assembly occupied by more than three hundred people, this law didn’t mandated sprinklers at the nightclub because the buildings was constructed before the effective date of the requirement were exempt, and in long periods, the building was seen as a sit-down restaurant with a legal capacity of only 161. It seems that the authority failed to consider the “change in use or occupancy” while the owners of the building turned the building from a restaurant into a bar with a capacity of 225, and, ultimately, a concert venue as fit for 404 screaming, shoulder-to-shoulder rock fans in March 2000 (Barylick).
With all the high risk factors, the tragedy finally occurred on February 2003 evening. In just 70-90 seconds after the foam was ignited the fireworks on the state, the flames spread rapidly over the nightclub, generating smoke and enough heat to ignite the wood paneling underneath and transitioned the fire to a wood frame building fire. Due to the broken door handle and the rapid fire growth, the panic crowd cannot open the door next to the stage. The narrow path through the ticket desk to the main exit caused serious crowd stomp and jam the evacuate route (Grosshandler, Bryner and Madrzykowskil).
2. The Club Owner, Staff, Band manager, and the Fire Marshal
According to Barylick’s book, Derderian brothers knew little about operating a rock club when they bought The Station from Howard Julian in March of 2000. But they had soon learnt on the job that cutting corners on payroll, stuffing patrons into the club, and stiffing local bands were all part of the economic equation. To pass the compliance check, the employees of the club removed the black curtain covering the wall as fire inspector’s request but put those curtains back after the check. Even though Barry Warner (the foam supplier and the neighbor of the Station club) suggested Derderian brothers to use the fireproof materials, they chose the flammable foam which was cheaper (Barylick).
After the fire disaster, the investigators found that The Station club had neither written emergency action plan, nor written fire prevention plan. There was no indication that the employees were trained to use the hand-held extinguishers and assist safe and orderly evacuation....