Governor Mitt Romney released the final report of the Secretary's Task Force on Fire & Building Safety on September 9, 2003 at the Department of Fire Services in Stow, Massachusetts.
The Station nightclub fire on February 20, 2003, in West Warwick, Rhode Island, was a horrific disaster. With 100 dead and almost 200 injured, it was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. But the real tragedy is that the loss of life may have been prevented with enhanced code enforcement, training of nightclub staff, and the installation of automatic sprinklers.
Each of these elements contributed to the tragedy: the proximity of pyrotechnics and foam insulation in a wood-frame building, the crowd's initial lack of awareness of an emergency situation, untrained staff, too many people with insufficient exits, and, most important, lack of a potentially life-saving sprinkler system. Individually, they presented a danger. Together, they formed a "perfect storm" of events that precipitated the catastrophe.
In the aftermath of The Station fire, officials were concerned that a similar tragedy could happen in Massachusetts. On April 3, 2003, Governor Mitt Romney directed the Secretary of Public Safety to create the Task Force on Fire & Building Safety, and charged the group with making recommendations to improve the safety of public assembly buildings.
|Massachusetts Fire Safety Act of 2004 (c304)|
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