RI Nightclub Disaster February 2003


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National Fire Sprinkler Association Presents: 

National Fire Sprinkler Association Presents Rhode Island Nightclub Tragedy 'Lessons Learned'. By Richard Skinner Northeast Regional Manager

RI Nightclub Fire “ The Station” 2/20/03: 

RI Nightclub Fire ' The Station' 2/20/03 At least 96 people were killed after a Cowesett Avenue nightclub burst into flames during a pyrotechnics display at a rock concert igniting the deadliest fire in Rhode Island's history and the nation's worst nightclub fire in 25 years.

The Station Nightclub: 

The Station Nightclub The building housing The Station was constructed in 1950. An addition was built in 1975. Town records indicate the building has 4,484 square feet of rentable space and has a total of 6,278 square feet, according to town records. The building value was assessed at $268,400. The building had a total of (4) Exits. The Main entrance was located North facing the street,2 were located in the northwest portion behind the bar and the last one was located Northeast by the Stage.

“Big White” Performing at the Station Nightclub: 

'Big White' Performing at the Station Nightclub Pyrotechnics were running at the upper left

Unfortunately History repeats itself!!: 

Unfortunately History repeats itself!!



CBS TV NY Interview regarding RI Fire Test.: 

CBS TV NY Interview regarding RI Fire Test. We conducted a simulation of the nightclub using similar foam to show the effectiveness of fire sprinklers in an A-2 Occupancy. We used'3-inch thick uncovered polyether (pure polypropylene oxidepolyol) foam cushions having a density of 1 to 1.25 pounds per cubic foot measuring 36 by 40 inches.'

What lessens have we learned?: 

What lessens have we learned? There would have been a major impact if the building was protected by a Fire Sprinkler System. We must look at the current Fire and Building Codes being used in all states and determine if the occupancy load thresholds are too high. (In many cases they are). We must examine the triggers in which a Sprinkler System would be installed such as the square footage. We must make certain that construction Trade Offs are used in conjunction with the codes to construct these buildings.

What Lessons have we learned?: 

What Lessons have we learned? All places of assembly must be protected by an automatic sprinkler system regardless of square footage and or occupant load. All interior draperies and soundproofing must be made of fire retardant material. The area leading to Exit Discharge shall be capable of empting 50% of the posted occupancy. The Main Exit shall be capable of empting 50% of the posted occupancy.

NY State Amendment to the IBC/IFC : 

NY State Amendment to the IBC/IFC A-2 Nightclub- 903.2.1.2- An automatic Sprinkler System shall be provided for group A-2 occupancies where (1) of the following conditions exist: The fire area exceeds 5,000 Square Feet (464.5 M). The fire area has an occupant load of 100 or more. The fire area is located on a floor other than the level of exit discharge.

Richard SkinnerContact Information: 

Richard Skinner Contact Information Office (845) 878-4200 Ext.116 Fax (845) 878-4215 E Mail skinner@nfsa.org Website www.nfsa.org

Thank You : 

Thank You For your participation in today’s seminar

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