Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,241
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

"Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

[ Edited ]

The REELZ network tonight documentary  "The Guest List"...about the tragic fire in Rhode Island in 2003 at a nightclub called  "The Station"...where 100 people in a crowded dumpy roadside bar perished in two minutes in a fire started on the stage where the washed up rock band "Great White" was playing..


They used pyrotechnics( fireworks) that sset fire to the foam rubber used on the cieling to dampen noise ...and people couldn't get out....first they thought it was part of the show, and in the SECONDS they realized what was happening, it was too late to escape.


100 people died and many more were horribly burned.


There is a book "Killer Show" that describe the events leading up to the fire, the shortcuts taken by the bar owners to make as much money in thier small venue ( overcrowding) the re-enactment by a National FIre Investigation group, and the legal consequences and can NOT put it down once you start reading it...

There are videos on You Tube of that fire because the night it happened, a reporter from a local TV station was filiming the event inside  and he caught the whole conflagration on tape....which became evidence in the trial...


There is a timer on that video. The fire killed 100 people in less than three minutes.


This story and video and book shook me to the core....ESPECIALLY the descriptions in the book about how fast and hot fire spreads in a buidling.


I bought all new smoke detectors, and I have a hammer on the floor in my bedroom by the window in case I ever have to "break out" in a hurry...and I live in a RANCH HOUSE!!!



I will NEVER not know where the exits are located in a public building again. These poor people went to see a band, most had no idea of the layout of the building or where the exits were ( who looks?) and they were trapped like rats.


There are survivor videos on You Tube....actually a whole litany of videos....They are VERY hard to watch and the one of the beginning of the fire itself is one of the most horrible things I ever saw especially because it was REAL.


The images on Google from the aftermath of the  Station Nightclub building fire are chilling as well.



If you watch, consider getting the book. And tell everyone you know to find the exits if they go someplace crowded...


May the  victims rest in peace.


Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,035
Registered: ‎09-24-2011

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

Thank you for sharing @Othereeeen .


I was working the overnight shift covering that area that night.  Remember sending the Troubleman to the Station Nightclub to cut the power there.  Though he was never very talkative, that night he called me from his truck as he was so distraught upon seeing bodybag after bodybag he called in.  I didn't know what to say, just listened as this man described the horrible scene.  It was very devastating.


If I can find that channel, hopefully it's carried on Fios, I plan to watch tonight.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,327
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

I was in a high rise fire and never stay higher in the hotel than I can run down the stairs, and obsessevely know where all the exits are before I go to sleep.  


I saw a little "botique" hotel on tv last night and the rooms didn't seem to have windows and there was a long narrow hallway.  I said I'd never stay there.


We had reservations in NOLA one time on Canal Street I think, I walked in, took one look at the lobby and said no way are we staying here.  Turns out someone did die in a fire there later--and it was a nice hotel.  


It gives me hives to think about it.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,392
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

I always scope out the exits in any hotel I stay at.

We stayed at a little inner wooden structure hotel in Quebec once, on the top floor. Winding wooden staircase to the top floor rooms. Lovely little room.  Overlooking one of the most "happening" streets of old Quebec.

My friend immediately looked at the evac instruction sheet behind the door.  While she was looking, I gave her the locations of the two closest designated exits, the location of the closest fire extinguisher AND a possible way out through the bathroom window onto the roof next door, BEFORE I'd even put my suitcase down. 

Loved old Quebec.

That hotel didn't have a room on a lower floor so we Moved to another hotel the next day. 

Would love to take another trip there someday.

I remember the coverage of The Station fire.





Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,241
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

@candys mine 


WInding staircase...wooden stops....Google Chimney Effect.


I don't want to be alarmist but I am VERY worried about fire when I'm out. I KNOW that the chances are very slim. 


This winter there have been two fatal fires in home using space heaters near where I live. One was a mother and young child, one a 19 year old man.



Space heaters and the ever-larger electric appliances I see offered here on QVC scare me. The implication is you just plug these things in and it's safe.


That Ninja thing to day is 1760 watts to run, and they don't tell you this ANYWHERE...I had dig to find it.


That's at the TOP of the range for a household 15 amp breaker or fuse, which is 1800 watts.


 Share that outlet with the coffee pot or toaster while both are in use? Nope.


New homes probably have 30 amp or larger breakers, but older homes? Older woodframe homes with old wiring? 


These silly airfryers are getting as large as household dryers!!!! ( well, exageraating a bit, but they ARE giant power draws. If you know an electrician ask them.)


MOST electric space heaters, even the ones with pretty "real fire" effects are 1500  watts...BUT....that's the maximum UL will list them...NOT the maximum available on the market.


It's up to the consumer to check it out.


And who uses space heaters the most? People in older draftier homes. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,658
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

[ Edited ]



Gosh, I remember when that horrifying disaster sad.


May the victims continue to rest in eternal peace.Heart

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,043
Registered: ‎05-15-2014

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

I remember that fire with great sadness.  As many of you know I live in RI and at that time all I remember was waking up and seeing it on the news the next morning.  I think I went upstairs in 2 seconds flat missing 5 steps in between to make sure my 19 and 17 year olds were home in their beds.........I will never forget that feeling or the sadness of the losses in that fire.  RI is a small state and you are somehow connected to most  people here in one way or another or you know someone who knew someone that perished.  I did, a survivor (badly burned) and someone who died.  I won't watch, it's too disturbing Smiley Sad

Regular Contributor
Posts: 235
Registered: ‎10-15-2010

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

I watched that documentary last night because I love that music.  What a very sad, horrible story.  After watching this, it seems it was very preventable, that is the worst part.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,139
Registered: ‎07-24-2013

Re: "Great White" Station Bar Fire Disaster in Rhode Island 2003 TONIGHT

I remember waking up to the horrific scene on the news!  we only spent weekends here at the time but it was in the local news for months and the ProJo printed the names and photos of all those who lost their lives and were horribly injured.  It's so incomprehensible that this happened! the mere idea of pyrotecnics should never had been even discussed!   the ceilings were low and it was a small club with 4 exits but one was behind the bar and one was off the corridor by the kitchen and video game room. the doors were only 36" wide.


 Sad that Years and  Years went by before the memorial for the Station victims was finally completed. Were the owners interviewed for this show? they were on 48 hrs a while ago, they had never publicly spoken out. The younger brother had been a TV reporter at the time. i'd watch just to hear what those !%#*?+"<!!   would say.