GREAT WHITE: Questions In Nightclub Fire Remain Unanswered

Eric Tucker of The Associated Press reports:

The trials of Jeffrey and Michael Derderian would have spanned months and involved mounds of exhibits, hundreds of witnesses and graphic testimony about the fire at The Station nightclub that killed 100 people more than three years ago.
But the decision by the Derderians to plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges concludes the criminal cases surrounding the fire, erasing the prospect of a trial and leaving victims' relatives with a laundry list of questions they fear may never get answered.

"Now, a lot of things won't come out that should have come out," said Leland Hoisington, whose daughter, Abbie, 28, was among those killed in the Feb. 20, 2003 fire, which was sparked by a pyrotechnics display for the rock band GREAT WHITE.

For one, there's the question of why local fire inspectors who visited the club before the blaze cited the West Warwick building for multiple hazards — but not the flammable foam around the stage that ignited and spread the flames.

Some families want to know why the West Warwick fire marshal agreed to increase the capacity of the club in 1999 and again in 2000, that time at the request of Michael Derderian, according to court documents.

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