Brazil nightclub owner blames Inspectors over a fire that killed 235 people

An owner of a southern Brazil Boate Kiss Nightclub regrets opening his business once a fire took the lives of 235 people. The accused deflected the blame to architects and safety inspectors. Elissandro Spohr blamed Sunday nights calamity on a, “Succession of errors made by the whole country.”

The investigating police forces claim the blaze started after the performing band light a flare on stage that had a chain reaction with the sound proofing foam directly above the stage. Officials stated that the pyrotechnics involved should never have been used indoors. This error was only compounded by the near-total lack of emergency infrastructure such as a fire alarms or sprinkler systems. It was noted that there was only just one working door and a faulty fire extinguisher. As staff reacted to the initial fire, the faulty extinguisher engaged the problem with negative effect.

Marques insisted in a phone interview with the Associated Press that “My client’s responsibility is having trusted too much in the inspectors and in those responsible for the construction.” Police detained Spohr, the club’s other co-owner and two musicians who were playing in the club when the fire broke out, and are holding them for five days as part of the investigation. Marques denied reports that overcrowding helped cause Sunday’s tragedy, insisting there were only 600 to 700 people in the club at any one time. Capacity for the 615-square-meter (6,650-square-foot) nightspot stood at less than 700, though the band’s guitarist told media that the space was packed with an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 people. Police have given the same estimate.

“Do I agree with the fact that there was only one exit? No,” said Maj. Gerson Pereira, an inspector with the local fire department. “Do I agree that the roof was covered with flammable material? No, I don’t. I would have liked to shut down this place, but then the firefighters could be sued [because no law had been broken].”

The same documents show that other regulations were broken, including irregularities in the fire safety inspection of the club. One document shows the club had already been labeled by fire officials a “medium” risk for a fire. By state law, that designation requires the club undergo annual inspections, but records show that the last inspection took place in August 2011.

Marcelo Arigony, the lead police investigator in the case, said Tuesday that it was clear the fire extinguishers had not been inspected and that they were clearly cheap models that should not be used anywhere.

It deeply saddens our organization to hear about the world’s deadliest nightclub fire in the last decade. In Canada, we are very fortunate to have air tight safety regulations, and industry required standards to protect Canadians from such tragedies. Our services comply with Manitoba Fire Code, and Federal Law which consists of annual and semi-annual inspections for fire alarm inspections, emergency lighting inspections, fire extinguisher inspections, sprinkler system inspections and restaurant inspections and other fire and safety services in Winnipeg.

There are many owners of different public buildings that are happy to follow fire and safety law, and they work closely with our company to ensure that public safety is their priority. We help outline potential hazardous areas, create and advise the appropriate fire plans and recommended hardware based on our years of experience in the security sector. We also see the opposite side of fire safety, where owners have disregarded the federal laws outlined to them and act on the basis that if I haven’t been caught or fined yet, then I will continue to operate until I am inspected.

Our cities fire department and associated inspectors are proactive and make guest appearances to buildings at any time or day of the week. Strict mandates are outlined and followed, and unless certain inspections have been obtained annually stiff fines are given, and any service work is immediately called into action. We definitely see the need for these inspections as documented in this article, it only takes a couple bad decisions to create a fire hazard that can have a high impact on the lives many owners depend on.

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Comments

  1. Rick Santori  April 22, 2013

    My heart and prayers go out to all the families effected by this owners negligence. It’s so simple to follow building code especially with fire and safety companies helping the uneducated owners keep their facilities up to standard…

    reply
  2. Chantel P  March 15, 2013

    How can a business such as a night club only have one door as an exit? That should have been a huge red flag that this buildings fire prevention was not up to code. Such disregard for public safety will not go unchallenged in the court of law.. unfortunately the families that are suffering from this tragedy will not stand by idle and see him walk. I’m so glad that my local neighborhood alarm company SI Alarms is now providing fire protection services, I actually just bought a 5LB ABC extinguisher from the shop on Portage for my kitchen.

    reply
    • SI Alarms - Stefan  March 15, 2013

      Hey Chantel! Good to see you liking the new extinguisher.. this article really touched us here at the office, we are definitely proud to say that we can prevent things like this happening through working with our AWESOME clients.

      reply

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