Affidavit Confirms Pyro Plans

An affidavit released among 3,000 pages of evidence regarding The Station nightclub fire has confirmed that an employee of the club knew of Great White‘s plan to use pyrotechnics the night of the show, resulting in a catastrophic fire.

West Warwick, R.I., Police Det. Sgt. Keith Azverde submitted the affidavit in support of a search warrant. According to the document, obtained by the Providence Journal, part-time Station employee David Stone told authorities he’d met with the band’s tour manager, Dan Biechele, that day.

“During this meeting Dan told David Stone that he would be using pyrotechnics which he described as ‘gerbs,'” the affidavit said. “Dan stated that he then wanted the stage to go dark when the gerbs would light briefly. He was told that after the gerbs went out he should use his discretion in what sort of light show he wanted to do.

“Mr. Stone stated that he followed the instructions of Dan and the gerbs ignited as stated. He said that they were large and lasted longer than he expected. He stated they ignited the acoustic foam and that he pulled the fire alarm and exited the building through the kitchen exit.”

Club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian have denied knowledge of the band’s intent to launch pyro.

Other released evidence includes a ticket order form seized from Michael Derderian’s home indicating that 700 tickets had been ordered for the Great White concert – 350 to be sold prior to the event and 350 to be sold day of show.

West Warwick Fire Marshal Denis Laroque boosted the club’s capacity to 404 at the request of Michael Derderian, according to a court filing. A computer analysis by the Journal showed that if the lower capacity of 317 was enforced, virtually everyone in the building would have had time to escape.

While a petition for the release of grand jury testimony related to the case is still pending, the state attorney general’s office has announced it will release more evidence soon, including amateur video footage shot the night of the fire.

One hundred people died and more than 200 were injured because of the 2003 blaze.