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Dan

Station Nightclub Fire - Trials

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Biechele gets 4 years to serve

This man was the stage manager for the 80's rock band Great White, which was authorized to put on the pyrotechnics display by Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, who booked the act and owned the club.

He lit the fuse, and he's going away until at least 2010.

Is this a fair sentence? Do you believe this man bears the brunt of the responsibility for the fire?

What kind of sentence would you like to see imposed on the club owners, who brought in this act in the first place and whose building was outfitted with highly-flammable sound proofing near the stage?

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Well, to be honest with you, I'm ashamed to say that I'm really tired of hearing about the whole thing over and over again. I didn't lose anybody in this tragedy, but I do know people who did. Several in fact. One of my coworkers actually canceled going at the last minute and knew many of the regulars there. What bothers me greatly is the anger that many of the families still hold. They seem to want blood from the defendants. Why can't they just let go? Nobody wanted this. It was an accident. But it was a horrible way to die.

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I agree with Frankie on this. This tragedy was really close to me as well. The only thing this guy is guilty of is making a stupid decision, and he accepted responsibility for this. I believe he is the only one who has accepted responsibility.

I believe if he expected people to get hurt, he would have not made the choice he did. Should he be punished, absolutely, but so should:

the club owners for foolishly lining the club, and any authorities who inpected the club and allowed it to stay open.

The families do seem to be digging into this guy. He didn't murder anybody, he made a stupid mistake.

This should never have happened.

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i, too, am really annoyed by these families. even the families of the 9/11 victims aren't calling for as much blood as these families are. they're both tragedies that never should have happened, but the difference is the station was an accident. sure, it could have been prevented. the fire marshall is probably the guy they should be going after if anyone.

but it's been 3 years, i think it's time to move on.

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i am sorry the families are still holding on to all that anger. having never lost anyone like that (although i did lose a college buddy--dr. metal, in the fire, as well as being college classmates with Jeff Derdarian) i can't say whether i'd be reacting the same way. But as someone who is a stickler for fairness, i cannot for the life of me understand why the West Warwick fire chief was not held at all accountable for that fire.

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I work with the Dederians brother Bob, and I never know what to say to him. If they were to hold a benefit dinner for them to raise money for legal fees I'd probrbly buy one. I just can't get it out of my head the way Jeff Dederian broke down and cried at the news conference held @ the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

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I just can't get it out of my head the way Jeff Dederian broke down and cried at the news conference held @ the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

I'm sure you saw the way this man broke down... he wrote 100 apology letters! He was railroaded into being a scapegoat. He got screwed!

If you're gonna put this guy away for 4 years, the Derderian's should get 25 to life. It just blows my mind that the WWRI fire marshall gave everybody the slip.

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If you're gonna put this guy away for 4 years, the Derderian's should get 25 to life. It just blows my mind that the WWRI fire marshall gave everybody the slip.

i wonder if family members can sue him in civil court since no one seems interested in getting him on a criminal charge. What really pisses me off is that WW allowed this guy to retire so he could get his full pension.

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Biechele gets 4 years to serve

This man was the stage manager for the 80's rock band Great White, which was authorized to put on the pyrotechnics display by Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, who booked the act and owned the club.

He lit the fuse, and he's going away until at least 2010.

Is this a fair sentence? Do you believe this man bears the brunt of the responsibility for the fire?

What kind of sentence would you like to see imposed on the club owners, who brought in this act in the first place and whose building was outfitted with highly-flammable sound proofing near the stage?

If the owner of the club authorized the pyrotechnics, then he should be the one in trouble.

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If the owner of the club authorized the pyrotechnics, then he should be the one in trouble.

Well that's just it. Did they!!?????????? They say NO!

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Well that's just it. Did they!!?????????? They say NO!

Sorry, I guess being from another area I only knew half the story.

Either way, they own the club and should be held fully responsible for whatever happens in there within their control. They had to know there would be pyrotechnics, so why not shut the show down if they knew that? They most definitely should shoulder the blame here.

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Sorry, I guess being from another area I only knew half the story.

Either way, they own the club and should be held fully responsible for whatever happens in there within their control. They had to know there would be pyrotechnics, so why not shut the show down if they knew that? They most definitely should shoulder the blame here.

if the fire marshall didn't say they weren't allowed to have pyro there... why should they believe otherwise? the fire marshall said it met code, i think he's the one who should be held responsible. for instance, electrical stuff can easily start a fire. they say once a spark hit the sound proofing, it went up instantly... an electrical fire on stage could have easily done the same thing.

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an electrical fire on stage could have easily done the same thing.

Very good point.

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if the fire marshall didn't say they weren't allowed to have pyro there... why should they believe otherwise? the fire marshall said it met code, i think he's the one who should be held responsible. for instance, electrical stuff can easily start a fire. they say once a spark hit the sound proofing, it went up instantly... an electrical fire on stage could have easily done the same thing.

or a cigarette. I mean, i'm all for everyone taking their share of responsibility in this incredibly awful tragedy, but the city of west warwick needed to offer up the fire marshall. How that man sleeps at night is beyond me.

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Well that's just it. Did they!!?????????? They say NO!

C'mon Frankie, we all know that they bought that highly-flammable foam to act as sound proofing on the cheap, and Great White had always put on these types of displays when they performed in other cities. Did you expect Mr. Pine to advise them to be truthful at the press conference? He's their lawyer!

Jim and Jen are right, the fire could've been started with much less than the pyro-display, this being before the R.I. statewide smoking ban took effect.

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C'mon Frankie, we all know that they bought that highly-flammable foam to act as sound proofing on the cheap, and Great White had always put on these types of displays when they performed in other cities. Did you expect Mr. Pine to advise them to be truthful at the press conference? He's their lawyer!

Jim and Jen are right, the fire could've been started with much less than the pyro-display, this being before the R.I. statewide smoking ban took effect.

they used cheap flammable sound proofing, but they also got the blessing of the fire marshall... if they didn't meet fire code, they couldn't have stayed open and wouldn't have used that stuff. the only person i think anyone should be going after (regardless of who gave permission to use pyro) is the fire marshall, but he's not even being looked at.

but i still say the families need to just give it up and move on with their lives. it was an accident, and that's really what it comes down to.

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they also say that the salesperson who sold them the stuff said that it was safe. There's enough blame to go around and i would like it to go around if possible. Any news on whether there will be any kind of civil suit? I suppose families are waiting to see how all the criminal cases end up. But if i lost someone i loved in that fire you bet your sweet asspercreme i would be sending a constable to the fire marshall's house with a summons for a civil suit.

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but i still say the families need to just give it up and move on with their lives. it was an accident, and that's really what it comes down to.

Careful. I understand where you are coming from with that, but it's not that easy for some. I lost my best friend that night. I still have difficulty driving by the site. What's my biggest problem? I know how she died, I know she suffered, I know she saw it coming, I know she died terrified, then she burned to death...and I wasn't there to help. You only need to see the video taken from inside once to remember the sounds of people screaming in agony. I hurt, my friend. It will go away over time. But this is a horrible, horrible thing to live with. All most have is selected opportunities to vent.

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Careful. I understand where you are coming from with that, but it's not that easy for some. I lost my best friend that night. I still have difficulty driving by the site. What's my biggest problem? I know how she died, I know she suffered, I know she saw it coming, I know she died terrified, then she burned to death...and I wasn't there to help. You only need to see the video taken from inside once to remember the sounds of people screaming in agony. I hurt, my friend. It will go away over time. But this is a horrible, horrible thing to live with. All most have is selected opportunities to vent.

I have NO IDEA of what you're going through, but I do hope that you can find a way to fight through it. Be strong. And always, always remember the GOOD TIMES that you both had.

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Say what you will about the sentence, but I find it odd that Richard Hatch got 51 months for tax evasion and Biechele got 48 months for contributing to the deaths of 100 people. I'm not saying he was directly responsible, he had no intent to kill or harm anyone, but what does that say about our priorities as a society?

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Say what you will about the sentence, but I find it odd that Richard Hatch got 51 months for tax evasion and Biechele got 48 months for contributing to the deaths of 100 people. I'm not saying he was directly responsible, he had no intent to kill or harm anyone, but what does that say about our priorities as a society?

It just makes me think that punishments are arbitrary. There are people who are in jail for life for posession of marijuana, and there are people who kill and are let back out into society after a relatively short sentence.

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Say what you will about the sentence, but I find it odd that Richard Hatch got 51 months for tax evasion and Biechele got 48 months for contributing to the deaths of 100 people. I'm not saying he was directly responsible, he had no intent to kill or harm anyone, but what does that say about our priorities as a society?

it says some people can afford better lawyers than others.

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Say what you will about the sentence, but I find it odd that Richard Hatch got 51 months for tax evasion and Biechele got 48 months for contributing to the deaths of 100 people. I'm not saying he was directly responsible, he had no intent to kill or harm anyone, but what does that say about our priorities as a society?

I don't really like to give my opinion on this topic because my loss puts me in the category of "grieving individual with a grudge" by many people. But... I do believe Biechele deserved some form of punishment. I just don't know how severe it should have been. I think this man lives with this in his heart and mind. He watched the inferno his actions created. How in the world do you fall asleep every night? Imagine the random dreams he has. No, I really don't have any feelings of retrobution for this man.

I fall in the category that Jen and Jim have put forth here. I want the fire marshall of West Warwick's sole to burn in hell. His incompetence created the critical support for the completion of the circle of circumstances that came to fruition on February 20, 2003 at 11:00pm. Out of all of the characters that are part of this tragic story, his was the only one with the specific job function whose sole purpose of existance is to prevent such events from occuring. However, that said, I realize that I have no control over this man's destiny. I have to believe that there will be a balancing act somewhere in the "what goes around comes around" world of faith.

What I did do with my frustration was turn it into a vehicle to show homage to her. I worked endlessly with my friends to create a memorial. If anyone happens to go by the corner of Memorial and Westminster, please visit her memorial on the corner park behind the Merchants Bank building. It's directly across the street from the entry way to the RISD dorms (actually it's directly across the street from the electrical transformer box on the corner). It's a round piece of slate attached to the small square planter facing Westminster. It's on the inside of the park. Due to weather conditions the past couple of weeks, we haven't yet planted the flowers in the heart. Please stay tuned. :)

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