History Strikes Again

It is truly amazing just how much of a difference the passage of one week can make. In the span of time since my last commentary we have, all witnessed two significant tragedies. One involved a fire and one involved overcrowding and panic.

However, the fire at The Station in Rhode Island is distinctly different from the tragedies of the past. Owing to the presence of a television crew filming a story of nightclub safety, we have been granted the unprecedented opportunity to watch the tragedy as it unfolded.

Major Features
At Least 96 Dead in Inferno
Carter: History Strikes Again
Rescuers Struggle with Horror
First-In: Heroic Rescues
Fire, Smoke Turns Club Into Hell
Family, Friends Search
IDs Could Take Days
Discuss the Warwick Tragedy

Photos & Video
IBS Scene SlideShow
ABC: The Fire Starts
WJAR Video Feedroom

The Club
Sprinklers Not Required
Nightclub Up to Code Before Fire

History of Tragedies
Fire, Life Safety Laws in Front
Tragedy Recalls Cocoanut Grove
Worst Club Tragedies
Nightclub Disasters Too Familiar
List: Worst Club Tragedies

More Stories
No Warning of Pyro Use
Pyrotechnics Usually Safe

Related Sites
West Warwick Fire Department
Warwick Fire Department
FH Network: Rhode Island
Providence Journal Coverage

I have spent many hours sitting mesmerized in front of my television set, reliving that tragedy. I cannot stem the flow of questions. Why did this happen? Is it that some people believe themselves immune to the laws of chemistry and physics? Is it that some people believe themselves to be above the laws of our nation? Alternatively, might it be that we simply cannot remember what happened in the past, and consequently the steps that were created to prevent a repeat of past tragedies. Sound familiar?

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn