On Feb. 20, 2003, during a Great White show at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, 100 people lost their lives and over 200 were injured in a fire caused by the band’s pyrotechnic display.
During the show’s opening number, the band’s road manager, Daniel Biechele, set off the pyrotechnics, as planned. The sparks unexpectedly ignited the foam used for soundproofing the ceiling of the club. The flames spread quickly, engulfing the club, and claiming the lives of many of those trying to escape.
He walks with a cane now and, until recently, he wore a colostomy bag surgically attached to his waist, a humbling reminder of his near death in 2010, after years of drug and alcohol abuse.
Jack Russell, 52, has fallen a long way since that night 10 years ago when he preened before a packed house in The Station nightclub, as his band’s pyrotechnics turned the place into a deadly inferno.
Russell was never criminally charged in connection with the fire, but he never made peace with survivors either.
Frankly, I’m not quite seeing this, but they probably figured it wasn’t worth fighting:
In February 2008, Providence television station WPRI-TV made an out-of-court settlement of US $30 million as a result of the claim that their video journalist was said to be obstructing escape and not helping people exit.
Some of these suits and settlements frankly seem like bullshit. God bless litigious America!
Reportedly, a bouncer prevented guests from using the stage door, a “just following the rules” action that contributed to the number of fatalities.