On February, 20, 2003, a tragic fire in a Providence, RI nightclub killed 100 patrons and injured many more. Yesterday, the performing band’s manager, Daniel Biechele was sentenced to four years in prison for lighting the fireworks that started the blaze.
Biechele was the tour manager for the heavy metal band Great White when he lit a pyrotechnics display that ignited highly flammable foam that lined the walls and ceiling of the nightclub. The foam was used as soundproofing and was placed there by the owners after neighbors complained about noise. Many of those killed were quickly overcome by fumes emitted by the foam or became trapped in a crush at the front door.
Biechele’s lawyer, Tom Briody, said Biechele had no way of knowing the hazardous conditions inside the club, which he likened to a tinderbox.
The owners of The Station, brothers Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, are accused of installing the flammable foam and are charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter — two counts for each person killed, under separate legal theories. Michael Derderian is scheduled to go to trial on July 31; no trial date has been set for his brother. Biechele has said Michael Derderian gave him permission to use the pyrotechnics at The Station; the Derderians have said he did not have permission.
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