Ten years ago, 100 people were killed and more than 200 were injured from a fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Illegal use of pyrotechnics during a band's performance initiated the blaze, which spread rapidly due to the club's conditions and lack of sprinklers. The incident is ranked the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history.
At the request of NFPA Journal, burn survivor Robert Feeney recently returned to The Station site to share his story of the fiancée he lost, his painful recovery, and a personal push for fire sprinklers in a number of settings. His actions led to a momentous victory in Chattonooga, Tennessee, which passed a law mandating all "late-night entertainment venues" to be sprinklered by the end of this year.
In addition to highlighting Feeney's journey, the NFPA Journal story also examines a number of safety concerns that still persist at nightclubs worldwide a decade after The Station fire, which prompted swift action by NFPA to further enhance safety in assembly occupancies through a series of changes to its relevant codes and standards. (A crowd crush at the E2 nightclub in Chicago three days before The Station fire was also the catalyst for these changes.)
Read the article in the January/February issue of Journal, and watch the following video of Feeney offering his thoughts at the site of the historic fire: