The nightclub fire in Rhode Island, Thursday claimed 97 lives and injured hundreds more. While the litigation drags on to determine who is to blame, the question for clubbers all over the country, including Ybor is, how safe is the club scene?
The owners of The Station, the site of the terrible accident in Rhode Island last week should be forthcoming with information, and the band, Great White, whose pyrotechnics ignited the blaze, should also take some of the responsibility.
The band claims that it got permission from the owners before bringing the pyro displays, but common sense would dictate better judgment as to whether the venue could handle the effects. Obviously, a club the size of The Station, made of wood is not the place for effects that blast fire into the air.
If The Station tragedy can prove any kind of point, it is that club owners and bands need to treat every venue as a separate and individual event. The band should have realized that the club was not an appropriate place for its pyrotechnics. The owners should have asked to see the schematics of the effects and what exactly they would entail.
Ybor City is a hot nightspot for many USF students and visitors from around the globe. Imagine The Castle or another club going up in smoke. The result could be devastating, not only to Tampa, but to this campus. If nightclub owners and the performing bands are lax in their safety procedures then clubbers will have to seriously evaluate whether it is safe to party in their establishments. While many people heading down to Ybor on Friday and Saturday nights may not put safety at the top of their list of concerns, just remember the next time someone yells “Fire!,” it may not be part of the act.