It was ten years ago Wednesday when the Station Nightclub went up in flames. One hundred people lost their lives and more than 200 were injured in the West Warwick tragedy. It led to sweeping changes in the state fire code.
The Station Nightclub was not required to have sprinklers because it was built before the sprinkler law was enacted. All that’s changed now. Nightclubs that hold more than 150 people are required to have sprinklers no matter when they were built and staff must be trained in crowd crisis management.
State fire marshal Jack Chartier says Rhode Island is a safer place because of the notorious Station fire. "We have not had a multiple death in a public occupancy building since the Station nightclub fire, thank God, so I think that’s a good thing and I think that’s the result of changes in the code."
The sprinkler law has been so successful on a statewide basis that Congressman Jim Langevin has introduced a bill that would encourage through tax breaks small and medium size businesses to install sprinklers.
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