Brazil nightclub fire: could it happen in Tampa? - WFLA News Channel 8

Brazil nightclub fire: could it happen in Tampa?

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People in Brazil are still in mourning following the deadliest nightclub fire in a decade.  A nightclub in Brazil turned into a death trap for 231 people over the weekend.

Could the same tragedy happen here in the Bay area?  There are measures in place that are designed to prevent that from happening.

Assistant Chief Robert Bassett with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue said, "It is a tragedy it is extremely unfortunate here in the states we have a Florida fire prevention code that could have possibly saved some lives if it was applied there in Brazil."

At "The Venue" restaurant and nightclub several steps have been taken to try and avoid a similar tragedy.

Matt Boyling with the "The Venue" said, "We provide multiple exits upstairs and downstairs almost all points of the restaurant we also have a voice activated evacuation system and fire system so we take precautions very seriously here."

There are reports there was only one exit out of the Brazil nightclub, the same as the entrance and bodies piled up as people tried to escape the flames and smoke inside.

Matt Boyling with the "The Venue" added, "It's heartbreaking absolutely just to hear something like that.  Thank goodness we have regulations here that we have to abide by and make sure we keep our guests safe."

It's believed the fire started from a pyrotechnics display set off by the performing band.

Similar displays are allowed at nightclubs here in the Bay area, but only after a permit has been issued.

Asst. Chief Robert Bassett with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue added, "When that happens in the City of St. Petersburg it requires an on-scene inspector anytime they use those for any of the live shows.  [There are] strict requirements on what we allow them to do and the timeframe they are allowed to do it to make sure we are on site to oversee what is happening."

But with reports of overcrowding at the Brazil nightclub, occupancy laws required here in the U-S could have helped avoid this tragedy.

Inspectors from the fire marshal's office also conduct quarterly unannounced visits to assure clubs are abiding by the codes.


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