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Judge in R.I. Club Blaze Tours Evidence

May 19, 2003

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) _ The judge overseeing cases stemming from a deadly nightclub fire toured a warehouse Monday where evidence from the club is being stored.

Bar stools, beer bottles and burned out drums are some of the 717 items attorneys have collected from the site of the nightclub.

Superior Court Judge Alice Gibney, who will oversee all litigation from the Feb. 20 blaze, said she thought it was appropriate to visit the warehouse because of her role in the case. She said she is satisfied with how attorneys are dealing with the evidence that was retrieved from the club’s charred remains.

All of the items, tagged and sitting on shelves, have been photographed and could be used as evidence in any litigation.

The stage area was also removed from the club in pieces, and has been reassembled at the warehouse.

At least four lawsuits have been filed over the fire at The Station in West Warwick and more are expected. A grand jury is also weighing whether criminal charges are warranted.

The blaze killed 100 people and injured nearly 200 others. It was sparked by rock band Great White’s pyrotechnic display and quickly spread through the wooden building.

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