On February 20, 2003, the deadliest rock concert in U.S. history took place at a roadhouse called The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island. That night, in the few minutes it takes to play a hard-rock standard, the fate of many of the unsuspecting nightclub patrons was determined with awful certainty. The blaze was ignited when pyrotechnics set off by Great White, a 1980s heavy-metal band, lit flammable polyurethane “egg crate” foam sound insulation on the club’s walls. In less than 10 minutes, 96 people were dead and 200 more were injured, many catastrophically. The final death toll topped out, three months later, at the eerily unlikely round number of 100.
The story of the fire, its causes, and its legal and human aftermath is one of lives put at risk by petty economic decisions—by a band, club owners, promoters, building inspectors, and product manufacturers. Any one of those decisions, made differently, might have averted the tragedy. Together, however, they reached a fatal critical mass.
Killer Show is the first comprehensive exploration of the chain of events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself, and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims.
Anyone who has entered an entertainment venue and wondered, “Could I get out of here in a hurry?” will identify with concertgoers at The Station. Fans of disaster nonfiction and forensic thrillers will find ample elements of both genres in Killer Show.
"Station fire survivor Victoria Potvin Eagan says, "I kind of thought I knew everything there was to know" about the fire and the people who were in it. As the founder of the Station Family Fund and head of the Station Memorial Foundation, she fields a lot of questions about that night, and so she says, "I've made it my mission to know everything there is about everyone." Barylick's book, however, "even surprised me--there were definitely some facts I wasn't aware of." Eagan says four or five personal stories of survivors have been published so far, but that Barylick's book is "very detailed ... extremely informative. And written without being sensationalized, which is what I appreciated." She says she's given countless interviews all over the world, and is always asked what really happened. "Next time I'm asked that question, I'm just referring them to that book." --Providence Journal
About the Author
For seven years JOHN BARYLICK was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from The Station fire. He has practiced law in Rhode Island since 1977.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1862 KB
Print Length: 327 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611682657
Publisher: University Press of New England (25 July 2012)
John Barylick has impressed and reinforced upon me the horrors that fire can inflict on the human body and mind. He has also highlighted that anyone who wants to take risks with other people's safety are simply playing Russian roulette. I have been an operational fire officer in the London Fire Brigade for over 30 years and conducted fire investigations involving serious injuries and loss of lives for the past 14 years, yet this book had me gripped throughout with it's completely balanced and sympathetic account that the impact carelessness, greed, ignorance and blind trust can result in. I commend him for sharing his experiences and my thoughts are with all of those innocents that have been touched by this unnecessary tragedy.