A second e-mail from Todd King: Andrew thanks for thoughts.
We have been a mess all day with no sleep reliving last evening. My first thoughts are have your readers that you know of being there get out ok other than the ones on your page?
And surprising after contacting the police, TV 10, and the posting on your site as well as a lady who we were asked to call at the Red Cross hotline so they could figure the head count no one has mentioned that security was a main cause of the pile up at the front door which probably only got worse. Literally 90 seconds to my car to the phone to the front doors and the last seconds of the infamous tape now is actual time from beginning to the total engulfing of the place in flames.
I am stuck with the thought that roughly 80% of the crowd were seriously injured or killed and we walked out without a scratch because my wife was paying attention.
And by some miracle we had just returned to our place from the restrooms as if one minute either way we would be separated and neither would have left without the other. If you see the reports people were in the bathrooms seeking refuge and calling the police on cell phones.
The scene at the front door was something you would see in a horror movie and the people in the footage are people we saw all evening at the venue.
One person had a picture of a relative on tv and that man was literally within a foot of us as we exited. He is missing and the thoughts are troubling on thinking about. People not leaving when we did thinking the fire was a stage prop.
My wife made it loud and clear and people around us heard her and did follow us out which is a small comfort that some people may not have been watching what was unfolding and her warning may have at least helped one person or more get alarmed and move out.
When I got the injured people to the restaurant I saw things I wish I never did while trying to help. There were people with the skin burned off of there bodies, people in disbelief and horror screaming for friends, a woman screaming in pain who had children.
One positive I recall though is right as I returned from the restroom I saw a cocktail waitress who had been working all night in our area and was really sweet and polite. I ordered two beers off of her and watched as she walked into the heart of the club to get them. As we were at the restaurant helping out I had just taken off clothing and started passing it out when I tuned and she walked in. I was so relieved and seems that it was some sort of message as I would have been the reason for her leaving our area and possible evacuation into the hardest part to escape from. The guilt would have been hard to take and her getting out was nothing short of a miracle.
Andrew unfortunately we both thank god we got out but also have the question of how the hell we got out without a scratch. This will trouble us for the rest of our lives with the guilt of just being able to walk away without injury while so many others died. Even trying to help leaves little solace in the fact that so many died in such a short time in such a horrible way.
Our prayers also go out to not only the victims but to Jack as it seems that the politicians have now started lining up and the media is starting to lay the blame wherever they can. I will attest to the door issue and also that the Kiss tribute band that plays there does the fire breathing trick in the place. The thought he must have is that all these people came to see the band and how little the management did to secure the place no matter what went on in there with the props. The place went to black immediately even before we got out. People panicked because they couldn't see and no one was paying attention to alert the crowd. No one was working the front of the stage and where the hell was the fire extinguishers. The fire alarms went off but they were just not very loud for a place with loud live music.
Jack was who we saw trying to put the fire out and if you see the video it seems that TY jumps down and goes to the right as the rest of the band goes to the left and out the door.
The EMS and fire department were there within two minutes of the call I made. We can only pray that they can recover from what they saw in the minutes after arriving and removing the lost souls in that hell hole.
One last thought, my brother and I were speaking today about all the shows we have seen. Clubs the same size or smaller have had more pyro than this club had last evening. I used to work security at clubs all over Northern Massachusetts. I am also a life long music fan and recall bands such as Warrant, Vince Neil and especially Ace Frehley doing much more in small venues. Friggin Ace Frehley shot rockets over the crowd and blew up his guitar in a club called the underground so these types of things are not uncommon. The blame seems to be starting to be one sided but most clubs are covered with anti flame material and painted with flame retardant paint as well.
Sort of a blow out room quality in the stage area not just for the bands bringing props but to protect everyone inside. Whatever the sound proofing was made of was a disaster waiting to happen. It attracted the flames and combusted as if covered in gasoline. No inspector would have allowed that kind of material to stand in a night club. You cant even get pajamas that aren't flame retardant never mind place it as a covering in a night club with hundreds of peoples lives involved.
Also if the other clubs starting to complain now were so upset why wasn't Great White informed of this until after something occurs like this. Hindsight is always 20/20.
". . .screams coming out of the fire'; 'hallmark words'. . .
May lives be saved because lives were lost. . .
. . .this is true and am not denying greater responsibilities here; but in the final analysis; surely, surely. . .the band member/s could/should have known this as well. They were 'up-close and personal' with their special effects and surely were the most aware of what their environment should be.