Rhode Island marks 16th anniversary of nightclub fire

Posted at 10:54 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 10:54:28-05

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is marking the 16th anniversary of a nightclub fire that killed 100 people and injured more than 200.

The Feb. 20, 2003, fire was started when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the walls of The Station nightclub in West Warwick.

The fire quickly spread through the overcrowded club, and many people became trapped and died, or were severely burned.

The site of the fire is now a memorial park. Although no formal service is planned at the site, several people showed up Wednesday to pay their respects.

Club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele (BEEK'-lee), who set off the pyrotechnics, reached plea deals on involuntary manslaughter charges. Biechele and Michael Derderian served prison time.