Station Nightclub

Looking Back at Station Nightclub Fire 20 Years Later

NBC Universal, Inc.

On Feb. 20, 2003, a fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island killed 100 people and injured hundreds more. Eight who died had ties to Connecticut. 

Two decades after The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, families continue honoring the lives lost. 

“He was always there for his friends, family, my mother, he was the best,” Tim Miceli, of Uncasville, said. 

Tim said his younger brother Sam Miceli Jr., who was 37 years old, and his girlfriend died in the fire, they left behind her three children. 

“Sammy and his girlfriend Jude, Jude had children. Sammy loved them like they were his own,” Tim said.  

Robert Duval was at the scene as an investigator with the National Fire Protection Association. 

“When I think about it, and everything that happened that day, it seems like yesterday, but then when you look at the calendar, and you're like, wow, there's a lot of water under the bridge since then. A lot of good things have happened as a result. But there's still a lot of things that you think about saying, wow, it's been 20 years,” Duval said. 

Duval remembers the magnitude of the damage, and how it left him with many questions. 

“I stood in a parking lot and kind of looked off at an angle and my first impression was this is so small, how could 400 people be in this building,” questioned Duval. 

At the time, the nightclub was under a grandfathered fire code in Rhode Island, according to Duval. 

“What happened to the building was it slowly changed from a small restaurant to a pub to a nightclub. And it didn't upgrade as it went, it didn't change the protection scheme as it went. So, it became a nightclub without sprinklers,” Duval explained.

The deadly fire sparked immediate conversations and change in fire codes. 

“Any new nightclub, regardless of the size of it, could be a postage stamp, or it could be stadium size. Any nightclub needed sprinklers -- a new nightclub. Any existing nightclub that has an occupant load more than 100 needed sprinklers,” Duval said.

Contact Us