RI Fire Update: Club Owner Warned About Pyro - Bizkit Benefit – Wall Foam Unsafe.
``I told Mike I was having serious problems with this stuff,'' Paul M. Vanner, 41, of East Providence, R.I. told the Boston Herald ``I said, `They're lighting fires up on your stage and I don't know these guys from (bleep).' ''
The Herald reports that Vanner has told his story to Rhode Island law enforcement officials.
The Herald report also stated, “Vanner said two other Station employees - the bar's manager, identified as Kevin Beazie, and the lighting technician, who goes by `Scooter' - were also in on the meeting with Derderian and would corroborate the prophetic warning.
“Vanner said he brought up the issue after a night in which a heavy-metal tribute band used stage flames in a way that struck Vanner, the son of a retired building inspector, as dangerous.
“`I'm paid good money to a do a professional job,' said Vanner, who was hired full time by club co-owners Michael and Jeffrey A. Derderian in April 2000, a month after the pair took over The Station. `And one of the things that I was anal about was safety.'
“Vanner said Michael Derderian appeared to take his warnings to heart, and no bands that featured pyrotechnic displays were booked into The Station in the three or so months after their conversation.
“…But he said he recalls pyrotechnic displays of various kinds being used on stage at The Station at least a dozen times after the Derderians purchased it. And he said there was no way the two owners could have been blind to their use.
“… Vanner said the soundproofing material that fueled the deadly nightclub inferno was installed `approximately 18 months ago.'
“He said pyro was set off at The Station `at least three times' between the date of the installation and last Thursday's calamity.
“…He also said the polyurethane foam that caught fire was present at the club both times a West Warwick fire inspector visited the premises to approve it late last year. He said the tiles were installed with a spray adhesive that makes them difficult to remove.
“Rhode Island law requires that acoustical material be fully fireproof and that inspectors test it if they find it present in a venue.
“Denis Larocque, the West Warwick Fire Department inspector who approved The Station in December, made no mention of the foam when he cited the club for minor violations a month earlier.
“… Vanner said the tiles were installed not long after the Derderians spent $65,000 to upgrade The Station's sound system. The club generated so much noise, he said, that neighbors began complaining and town officials insisted that they install acoustic baffling.”
More on the Soundproofing Foam.
Soundproofing experts who have watched the video tape of the beginning of the fire are telling various members of the press that they believe that the material used at the Station was polyurethane foam, a commonly used, inexpensive alternative to fire-resistant panels many experts prefer.
"It's a common mistake many people make, not evaluating their materials," said P.J. Nash, a national soundproofing distributor out of San Diego. "Polyurethane foam is extremely flammable, and if you breathe that smoke, it's going to knock you out in a minute."
The polyurethane panel that the experts suspect were used at The Station typically costs about $150. By contrast, the heat resistant melamine panels costs about a hundred dollars more each.
Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst says that he intends to set up a benefit for the families of those lost in the club fire in Rhode Island last week.
Durst Posted the following on the official Limp Bizkit website.
I am horrified at what happened to the innocent people who were burned to death at the great white concert recently. I feel so much sadness inside because of it. How could such a thing happen? Especially when it could have absolutely been prevented. It is so important to make any concert a safe place for fans to be. We have had our own terrible exsperience [sic] with a similar situation in Australia a while back. I believe that it is our resposibility [sic] to provide you with the safest most secure conditions when you come to our concerts and I pray that every club owner, tour promoter, venue security, and band will learn from this horrible incident. I want to create some sort of benefit for the families of the ones who were lost. it feels right to get involved because i am a musician, I love music, and I love going to concerts. That could have been any of us!! Fortunately it wasnt [sic]and we can come together to help not only cause awareness to prevent anything like this again, but to help the people who are sincerely hurting from their loss. If you feel the same then please call 310 865 7671 and let the world know how you can help. This really got to me. I mean it. I am so sad. It hurts me to think of it. I cant bare to think that i wont try to make a difference this time. Thanks for listening. We can help. I know I can.