case study

Station Nightclub Fire 2003

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The Station nightclub fire, Thursday, February 20, 2003, Rhode Island. The fire was caused by pyrotechnics during the headlining band Great White, which ignited flammable sound insulation. Fire with intense black smoke engulfed the club in minutes. The toxic smoke, heat and crowd crush at exits killed 100; 230 were injured.

Never to be forgotten

Christopher G. Arruda, 30

Gino Avilez, 21

Tina M. Ayer, 33;

Karla Jean Bagtaz, 41

Mary H. Baker, 32

Thomas A. Barnett, 38

Laurie Beauchaine, 35

Steve Blom, 40

Billy Bonardi, 36

Richard Cabral Jr., 37

Kristine Carbone, 38

Billy Cartwright, 42

Eddie Corbett, 31

Mike Cordier, 32

Freddy Crisostomi, 38

Robert J. Croteau, 31

Lisa D’Andrea, 42

Matthew P. Darby, 36

Dina Ann DeMaio, 30

Albert DiBonaventura, 18

Tina DiRienzo, 37

Kevin J. Dunn, 37

Lori K. Durante, 40

Ed Ervanian, 29

Thomas J. Fleming, 30

Rachael Florio-DePietro, 31

Mark Fontaine, 22

Dan Frederickson, 37

Michael A. Fresolo, 32

Jimmy C. Gahan, 21

Melvin Gerfin, 46

Laura Gillett, 32

Charline E. Gingras-Fick, 35

Mike Gonsalves, 40

Jimmy Gooden Jr., 37

Derek J. Gray, 22

Skott Greene, 35

Scott Griffith, 41

Pamela Gruttadauria, 33

Bonnie L. Hamelin, 27

Jude Henault, 37

Andrew R. Hoban, 22

Abbie Hoisington, 28

Mike and Sandy Hoogasian, 27 and 31

Carlton ‘Bud’ Howorth III, 39

Eric Hyer, 32

Derek B. Johnson, 32

Lisa Kelly, 27

Tracy F. King, 39

Michael Joseph Kulz, 30

Keith R. Lapierre, 29

Dale Latulippe, 46

Stephen M. Libera, 21

John M. Longiaru, 23

Ty Longley, 31

Andrea (Jacavone) Mancini, 28

Keith A. Mancini, 34

Steven Mancini, 39

Judith I. Manzo, 37

Thomas Marion, 27

Jeffrey Martin, 33

Tammy Mattera-Housa, 29

Kristen Leigh McQuarrie, 37

Thomas P. Medeiros, 40

Samuel J. Miceli Jr., 37

Donna M. Mitchell, 29

Leigh Ann Moreau, 21

Ryan Morin, 31

Jason R. Morton,

Beth Mosczynski, 33

Katie O’Donnell, 26

Nick O’Neill, 18

Matthew J. Pickett, 33

Carlos L. Pimentel Sr., 38

Chris Prouty, 34

Jeff Rader, 32

Terry Rakoski, 30

Robert Reisner, 29

Walter ‘Waldo’ Rich, 40

Donald Roderiques, 46

Tracey Romanoff, 33

Joe Rossi,

Bridget Sanetti, 25

Becky Shaw, 24

Mitchell Shubert, 39

Dennis Smith, 36

Victor Stark, 39

Benjamin Suffoletto, 43

Linda Suffoletto, 43

Shawn Sweet, 28

Jason R. Sylvester, 25

Sarah Jane Telgarsky, 37

Kelly L. Vieira, 40

Kevin R. Washburn, 30

Tommy Woodmansee, 30

Robert D. Young, 29



Toll likely to rise after band’s pyrotechnics start fire

At least 95 people died and more than 180 were injured when a heavy metal band’s pyrotechnics display on a US nightclub stage went horrifically wrong.

The owners of the nightclub where 100 people were killed in a fire last February were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges Tuesday along with the tour manager for the heavy metal band whose pyrotechnics sparked the blaze.


Anniversary of nightclub fire


The fourth deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, a blaze at The Station nightclub in W. Warwick, RI, on February 20, 2003, claimed 100 lives. After the fire, NFPA enacted tough new code provisions for fire sprinklers and crowd management in nightclub-type venues. Those provisions mark sweeping changes to the codes and standards governing safety in assembly occupancies.

On Feb. 20, 2003, during a Great White show at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., 100 people lost their lives and over 200 were injured in a fire caused by the band’s pyrotechnic display.

On Feb. 20, 2003, the nation’s fourth-deadliest nightclub fire occurred in the Town of West Warwick, RI, killing 100 people and injuring nearly 300. The emotional impact on the responding firefighters continues. Many will not discuss the incident; some still receive medical care. Legal proceedings are ongoing. Current and former officials from several fire departments, including West Warwick’s, declined to comment for this article. Their decisions and their rights to privacy are respected. In deference to them, names are not published.



Fatal crush conditions occur in crowds with tragic frequency. Event organizers and architects are often criticised for failing to consider the causes and implications of crush, but the reality is that both the prediction and prevention of such conditions offer a significant technical challenge. Full treatment of physical force within crowd simulations is precise but often computationally expensive; the more common method of human interpretation of results is computationally “cheap” but subjective and time-consuming. This paper describes an alternative method for the analysis of crowd behaviour, which uses information theory to measure crowd disorder. We show how this technique may be easily incorporated into an existing simulation framework, and validate it against an historical event. Our results show that this method offers an effective and efficient route towards automatic detection of the onset of crush.


The following documents are available on Google Drive.

Development of Safety Measures for Nightclubs


People_Magazine_-_joy after tradgedy

Psychological Sequelae of the Station


Report of the Technical Investigation of The Station Nightclub Fire

Special Report The After-Action Critique


Station NightClub Fire

Taskforce report

The NIST Station Nightclub Fire Investigation Physical Simulation of the Fire

The Providence Journal “Survivor’s Story”

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