The almanac

UPI Almanac for Saturday, May 12, 2012.
By United Press International

Great White offers fire victims $1M

WEST WARWICK, R.I., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The rock band Great White reportedly has offered $1 million to settle lawsuits stemming from a fatal fire at a Rhode Island nightclub where they performed.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Monday, May 12, 2008.
By United Press International

The Almanac

UPI almanac for Saturday, May 12, 2007.
By United Press International

Witness to be focus of nightclub fire case

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The attorney for Michael Derderian, facing charges after a fire at his Rhode Island nightclub, plans to attack the credibility of a main prosecution witness.

Inmate in deadly club fire may work

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 30 (UPI) -- The man imprisoned for sparking a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people at a Great White concert was granted his request for work release.

Great White members to testify in trial

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 23 (UPI) -- Two members Great White have been subpoenaed as witnesses in the trial of a Rhode Island nightclub owner charged with 200 counts of manslaughter.

Rock manager gets prison for deadly fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 10 (UPI) -- Great White's tour manager will spend four years in prison for sparking a deadly nightclub fire that killed 100 people in East Warwick, R.I.

Testimony begins in fire sentencing phase

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 8 (UPI) -- Even court staff cried Monday as survivors of a Rhode Island nightclub fire described their pain at the sentencing hearing for Great White's tour manager.

Great White tour manager asks for mercy

PROVIDENCE, R.I., May 5 (UPI) -- Great White's road manager has asked for community service instead of prison for sparking a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people.

Trial date set in R.I. deadly club fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 15 (UPI) -- A judge in Providence, R.I., has set a summer trial date for one of two brothers charged in a deadly nightclub fire that killed 100 people.

Great White mgr to plead guilty in fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Great White manager Daniel Biechele Tuesday agreed to plead guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter for a 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island.

Criminal charges stand in nightclub fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A judge in Providence, R.I., refused to dismiss any of the 200 manslaughter charges against three men for a deadly 2003 nightclub fire.

Great White singer fears criminal charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Great White vocalist Jack Russell still fears possible criminal charges in the Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people last February.

R.I. club fire toll rises to 99

BOSTON, March 7 (UPI) -- The deadly nightclub fire in Rhode Island two weeks ago has claimed its 99th victim with the death of a Florida construction worker. Mitchell C. Shubert, 39, of Newberry, Fla., died Thursday afternoon of burns at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston,
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The Station nightclub fire occurred beginning at 11:08 PM EST, on Thursday, February 20, 2003, at The Station, a glam metal and rock n roll themed nightclub located in West Warwick, Rhode Island, United States; it is considered to be the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in United States history, killing 100 people, four of whom died at local hospitals. The fire was caused when pyrotechnic sparks, set off by the tour manager of the evening's headlining band Great White, ignited flammable sound insulation foam in the walls and ceilings around the stage, creating a flash fire that engulfed the club in 5 1/2 minutes. 230 other people were injured and another 132 escaped uninjured. Video footage shot at the time of the fire depicts patrons frantically exiting the building.

The fire started about 11:08 PM, just seconds into headlining band Great White's opening song "Desert Moon," when pyrotechnics set off by the band's tour manager, Daniel Biechele, ignited the building's flammable soundproofing foam. The pyrotechnics were gerbs, cylindrical devices that produce a controlled spray of sparks. Biechele used three gerbs calibrated at 15 by 15, which spray sparks 15 feet for 15 seconds. Two gerbs were at 45-degree angles with the middle one pointing straight up. The flanking gerbs became the principal cause of the fire when their sparks hit the soundproofing foam on both sides of the drummer's alcove at the rear of the stage. The flames were first thought to be part of the act; only as the fire reached the ceiling and smoke began to billow did people realize it was uncontrolled. Twenty seconds after the pyrotechnics ended, the band stopped playing, and lead singer Jack Russell calmly remarked into the microphone, "Wow...this ain't good." In less than a minute, the entire stage was engulfed in flames, with most of the band members and entourage scurrying for the west exit by the stage.

By this time, the piercing shrill of the fire alarm had made everyone acutely aware of the impending danger, and although there were four possible exits, most people naturally headed for the front door through which they had entered. The ensuing stampede in the inferno led to a crush in the narrow hallway leading to that exit, quickly blocking it completely and resulting in numerous deaths and injuries among the patrons and staff. Of the 462 in attendance, 100 lost their lives, and about half were injured, either from burns, smoke inhalation, or trampling. Among those who perished in the fire were Great White's lead guitarist, Ty Longley, and the show's emcee, WHJY DJ Mike "The Doctor" Gonsalves.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Daniel Biechele."
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