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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:35 PM   #1
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Camera guy at that fire in R.I.

I was watching the news about that fire at the club in Rhode Island. The TV news guy was video taping the band when the fire breaks out. Then he slowly backs out of the place staying just ahead of the rush. Should he have yelled out to everyone to get out? He might have died also. maybe he didn't think it would get that bad either but he seemed to have a pretty good idea what was going on around him.
They said that if you didn't get out in the first 30 to 60 seconds you didn't get out alive. You have to give the cameraman credit for keeping his cool in a horrible moment.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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My thoughts, too, Bob. And what a coincidence that he was shooting a documentary on club safety (in response to the tragedy here in Chicago earlier this week).

Experienced news camera operators never cease to amaze me. How they maintain their cool in such situations while still managing to get good shots I'll probably never know. I suppose that, like still (news) photogs, their instincts are to just turn the camera on and shoot.

I watched (what appeared to be) the full version of the footage 2-3 times today. It looked to me like he must have held the camera over his head backwards while trying to save his own life. BTW, this fellow did survive unharmed. I saw an interview with him later in the day.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 12:15 AM   #3
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Ironically the cameraman was there with a reporter doing a story on nightclub safety.

I wouldn't necessarily judge what happened based on short clips. I saw the camera man being interviewed this morning. He said that he had yelled "get out" or words to that effect but many patrons were just looking around, not understanding what was going on.

I was surprised to see a local restaraunt owner's picture on CNN. Dom Santana, also wons the Stone Pony, a club in Asbury park where Springstien got his start. Apparently "Great White" performed there last week and set off pyrotechnics without telling anyone

The death toll in Rhode Island is unbelievable.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 07:46 AM   #4
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Credit to the cameraman. You keep doing your job. War photogs do (did) it all the time. Instinct tells you to run for cover, training, experience and another instinct tells you do your job.
The band were complete and utter fools and morons to set off pyrotechnics in a closed enviorment. How stupid. Anyone with a modicum of brains and intelligence would look at the building and say nope, can't do it. Any building. I can't express the rage I feel inside towards the A**holes that do that sort of thing. Hey I like good old RnR as much as anyone, but come on. Pyro inside a small building? Get real!
The finger pointing has of course started, much as it has in Chicago, but in the end all that matters is that people died for no good reason, lot's them and that is inexcusable.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 08:43 AM   #5
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It was odd to see a very bad photo of Dom Santana on CNN. He is the owner of a fun little Cuban restaurant, The Hard Grove Cafe, in Jersey City. We used to see him there a lot until he bought the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where Bruce Springstein got his start.

Apparently Great White played at the Stone Pony last week and set off pyrotechnics without telling anyone before hand. They had a contract which specified everything about the performance, sound, lighting, staging, down to the color of the M&M's in the dressing room, which said nothing about fireworks. They set them off anyway. Glad the Pony wasn't so flamable. Tragic that the Station was.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 12:59 PM   #6
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Was the photographer/reporter the club owner?

My brother told me he heard on Fox that either the reporter or the photographer was owner of the club. Did anyone else hear that or can confirm it?
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 01:03 PM   #7
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Yes. According to the NYT the reporter doing the story of club safety was a co-owner of the club.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 01:17 PM   #8
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a prime example why 80's hair bands shouldn't try making comebacks.<g>

all joking aside. i couldn't imagine any club being big enough to accommodate fireworks, especially if it's an older building. apparently one of the guitarists in the band is still among the missing (or was at least yesterday). but i wonder too, how this got overlooked? i mean i don't know how elaborate the pyros were, but i would think it would be hard to miss people setting them up. it's sad though you can't even go out, blow off some steam and have a good time anymore without risking your life.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 01:28 PM   #9
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Not meaning to belittle this, but this isn't the first fire like this and it won't be the last. I was in Cincinnati in 1977 when the Beverly Hills Supper Club caught fire and 165 deaths resulted. Later it was proved many of the deaths could have been prevented. The Beverly Hills fire was thought to have been started by aluminum wiring. But from the time of the fires discovery there should have been sufficient time to allow for exiting to safety. However, there were too few exits and some were either locked or disabled.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 06:10 PM   #10
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This was close to the worst case situation - a wooden building with lots of highly flammable insullation, old enough not to be required to have sprinklers, several emergency exits who signs were immedialtey hidden by smoke from the insulation. Add to this a band with a history of going ahead with pyrotechnics without asking the club's permission. There are now at least two other clubs in which Great White set off fireworks without asking or even telling anyone. Just too damn stupid.
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Old February 23rd, 2003, 07:48 AM   #11
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I think the stations should swap crews on this story. It seems to me that if reporter has a financial interest in the story they should not have him working on it.

From what I read from other accounts, Great White was known for pyrotechnics displays in their shows. Certainly the fact that they did this at other clubs demonstrates this.

Whether the club (The Station?) knew this might be hard to determine. Since, Great White appears to be unlicensed for pyrotechnic displays, they possibly might have informed the club or this verbally (at best).

Just my $.02
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Old February 23rd, 2003, 08:39 AM   #12
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I guess it's always good to get things in writing. Both parties will be sued.
They said that the soundproofing material burns faster than a dry christmas tree.
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Old April 5th, 2003, 06:12 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka : My thoughts, too, Bob. And what a coincidence that he was shooting a documentary on club safety (in response to the tragedy here in Chicago earlier this week).

Experienced news camera operators never cease to amaze me. How they maintain their cool in such situations while still managing to get good shots I'll probably never know. I suppose that, like still (news) photogs, their instincts are to just turn the camera on and shoot.

I watched (what appeared to be) the full version of the footage 2-3 times today. It looked to me like he must have held the camera over his head backwards while trying to save his own life. BTW, this fellow did survive unharmed. I saw an interview with him later in the day. -->>>

Actually, our sticks (tripods) have a big plate on top that the cam connects to. If yu rest that plate on your shouler and lift you can walk around pretty easily
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