Rhode Island Nightclub Owners Sentenced in 2003 Fire Deaths

Two brothers who owned a nightclub where a 2003 fire killed 100 concertgoers when a band's pyrotechnics set it ablaze were sentenced Friday after pleading no contest to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

As expected, Jeffrey Derderian, 39, escaped a prison term and was sentenced to three years probation and 500 hours community service. Superior Court Judge Francis Darigan also sentenced him to a suspended 10-year prison term.

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Michael Derderian, 45, co-owner with his brother of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, was sentenced to serve four years in prison. Darigan also sentenced him to three years probation and 11 years suspended.

Michael Derderian received the stiffer sentence because he purchased the flammable polyurethane foam the brothers had installed in the club to ease neighbors' concerns about noise. The foam caught fire from pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White, then spread the flames quickly through the one-story wooden building, emitting toxic smoke that killed many concertgoers.