View Full Version : Breaking News: Ecuador Nightclub Fire

04-20-2008, 11:00 AM
Pyrotechnics cause major fire in Ecuador nightclub. Article at: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23570053-5012751,00.html Video at: http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=7477912&ch=4226714&src=news

This may very well have future implications for the Haunted Attraction industry with fire codes, other regulations and the need for education.


Neena Collins | Funhouse Faces / Terror Park at Cooper Stadium
The Haunted Hacienda | Lewis Center OH 43035
Neena@FunhouseFaces.com 614.433-9343

Midwest Haunters Convention and Fantasy Show
June 13-15, 2008 Columbus, Ohio. Greater Columbus Convention Center
www.MidwestHauntersConvention.com Myspace\MidwestHauntersConvention
www.MidwestFantasyShow.com Myspace\MidwestFantasyShow
www.FunhouseFaces.com Myspace\Funhousefaces

Greg Chrise
04-20-2008, 11:12 AM
This may very well have future implications for the Haunted Attraction industry with fire codes, other regulations and the need for education.


04-20-2008, 11:56 AM
Thanks Greg. I appreciate your reply.

I considered that myself and it is a great question. This is only breaking news ~ and we'll see if it may have any ripple effects on our industry. It's certainly worth sharing if it does.

My heart goes out to those killed and injured by this major diaster in Equador.

There are a couple potentially related issues that trouble me. First, that this has just happened and is quickly becoming the subject of international news. Second, while I only got a flash of the information, the incident was compared to the Great White fire in Rhode Island which seemed to affect many in our industry.


04-20-2008, 02:51 PM
Codes in the U.S. are already among the toughest. That's why we often look at things like this in other countries and wonder why it took so long to happen. As for that stupid incident in Rhode Island, I am still in awe of all the stupidity that came together in one place and allowed that to happen. Why would you allow fireworks indoors to begin with, and if they are allowed, why would you want to even risk trying them? I can't believe that they didn't see that as an accident waiting to happen. Once I saw those things going off, I would have headed for the door.

04-20-2008, 03:29 PM
That's my point.

While I'm interested in this discussion thread; I really don't have much time to comment on it. Thanks for your patience.


Greg Chrise
04-20-2008, 04:29 PM
Before there was yet anything exciting here, the little city of Noonday Texas passed a law that there will be no pyro technics, fire works displays to be exhibited or sold in the little city limits. No shanty towns, road side sales unless you have already been selling rotted vegetables from California and saying they were grown down the street for the past 50 years.

From the video, the whole Equidorian town and that entertainment establishment seems to be a shanty town, the total code is giving the policia a percentage of the gate every hour on the hour.

And frankly associating any event or the one in Rhode Island with how haunted houses are conducting themselves or even equating it to haunted events in general is a bit alarmist. I appreciate the new updates very much but, there is no reason to be freaked out that some ripple effect is going to happen because again some shed has been crammed full of people, locked up with chains and pad locks and then fires with accelerants set for entertainment.

A haunted house generally doesn't have more than about 40 people in it an any given time and sometimes limited to 10 people per so many thousand square feet. It is more dangerous to be At the all you can eat buffet and get trampled by a hundred 400 pound people trying to get through two exits. Since they all out weigh me, if the "what's on the grille" offering gets out of control, I'm throwing stuff through the window.

My haunt has exits every 50 feet. If you aren't creative, the exists at the buffet are 200 feet apart. The fire trucks are 4 blocks away on the other side of bumper to bumper traffic.

Linking current events directly to haunted houses starts here at home.

we don't serve drinks on the edge of town
we have groups through and they are gone, not staying in the same building for an entire evening
we do have codes to conform to
Those events that do have pyro and bands are fully insured, have to have permits and in effect years of experience of professional performance, generally these are stable family businesses that have done so for the past 50 years as well and one dork in Rhode Island does a little too much drugs and wants to try something spectacular gets headlines compared to hundreds of thousands of similar, safely conducted displays.

I have 6 fire trucks loaded with water and pumps at my event with in 75 feet of hooking up to hoses. I can tell by how the trucks are parked in Equidor that they just came to say hi after the fact. The policia that got the kick back got a few moments of fame on the International news. The poor people were made into victims.

Typically, haunt owners are more prepared for what can be made available at an event than the fire officials because of nationwide code, research, preparedness and education that has gone on for a decade right here in fear of not being responcible enough for peoples welfare.

So if there is a ripple effect, it's going to happen at maybe White Snake's cover band tour of Ethiopia, not the US. There are like 630,000 fire departments across the US not including government equipment. Probably more this year. And they are all about responcible activity from the community and them being part of the process rather than responding to trouble. Events do not go on in the US unless dedicated equipment or the physical plant that replaces a fire company has been permanently installed and can be properly dedicated.

And if you aren't up to speed, there are dozens of places and ways to get educated.

Pardon me, I'm feeling a ripple right now, gotta go.

04-20-2008, 05:14 PM
Where exactly are you from? Is it really Noonday, Texas? You have a haunted attraction venue that generally 'doesn't have more than about 40 people in it an any given time and is sometimes limited to 10 people per so many thousand square feet'? Inquiring minds would like to know. That's interesting.

I have little time to participate with an online discussion. I'll try to check back in later with this. Anyone can reach me offline at Neena@MidwestFantasyShow.com.


04-20-2008, 05:24 PM
I would think the WWE SMACK DOWN event in Orlando would have more of a effect being that it happened here in the states. The WWE uses pyro all the time and after they burned people in O town they still do. I think the question should be "Is it being done right and by code or is someone taking short cuts that ends badly"? What I would like to see happen is a uniform code across the board, so countys can not just make it so you can't open. Fire Marshals can be freind or foe but from what I have seen posted sometimes it looks like no matter what you do, your not going to be allowed to open.

Jim Warfield
04-20-2008, 08:38 PM
I read in a trade magazine that 300 to 400 kids die EVERY year in their backyard inflatable pools.
300 to 400!
Kind of makes haunted houses seem pretty safe by any comparison.

Greg Chrise
04-20-2008, 11:28 PM
I have little time to participate with an online discussion.


04-21-2008, 03:03 AM
We have pyro on our hayride, and it always worries me, but we have a fire wall built around it and no one can get within any distance to really be hurt from the thing. I know of NO haunt that has ever done Pyro inside but Verdun Manor, and he had pyro shooting out of the house and pyro inside his voodoo show. We should just be lucky this didn't happen in a haunt or in the United States. As we know this did happen in a US nightclub a few years ago and it didn't really effect haunts because haunts for the most part and I might go as far to say 99.99999% of the time are not allowed to have pyro inside the haunt, much less want to.

Its really a non-issue for most haunts because they don't use pyro.

Randy Bates, uses Pyro all throughout this hayride. He should do a Pyro seminar, however I've heard people who do Pyro hesitate to teach others for fear of being sued if something bad happened.


Greg Chrise
04-21-2008, 03:15 AM
I can take you to Texas attractions that may have as many as 12,000 people standing in lines and 8 haunts, with only 10 customers inside at a time in each one. It's like occupancy ordinance. It's totally great to have that many people and only 6 porta potties, 2 hour or more waits at each haunt.

Why would I make any of this up?

Yes, my haunt is in Noonday Texas, mine is not the one I am describing above but, yes we have occupancy standards to comply to. Remember way before these pyro effects going bad there was this thing that happened in the 80's at Six Flags Texas. This is kind of where the various code making bodies made the rules.

Where am I from? Wherever the shopping cart roams and the cardboard and magic marker bring in the bucks. I was born, a small black child in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

At one Transworld I know I was within 3 feet of you. You couldn't tell it was me as you were too busy and because my shopping cart was in the parking garage.

Jim Warfield
04-21-2008, 09:47 AM
You could have recognized Gregg's shopping cart he has a small chrome sign on it that says :"Weenie-Beggar", close to "Winnebago" but not quite.
Run some copies off of your drawing of your cart Gregg and sell them to everyone here, then they will know who is stalking them.
Of course this might take away some of the fun.

04-26-2008, 02:57 AM
I can see Greg and Neena are having a private conversation that they don't have time for but....

I spent 2 years in Ecuador. It is one of the poorest countries in south america. Nothing has any kind of code. nor are there building codes or business licenses or even non corrupt cops. I am sorry but if you look into the history of that nation you will find tens thousands of deaths that were caused by issues dealing with what we consider safety violations. 90% of electrical feeds going into homes and businesses are just wire bent in a hook and draped over the power lines going over their houses. Most roofs are just bamboo canes that are lashed with rope with tin over the top.

years ago there was an entire valley of diamond mines that went up and killed thousands because of one faulty generator.

So my heart went out to these poor people that suffered from this especially since I know their way of life and the culture. But you would all have a heart attack if you saw anything that was being operated out of that country. I have seen my fair share of dangerous crap in that country and I guarantee you that that ripple effect will never reach our codes in the US.

No city planner or fire marshall will look at Ecuador and say "Wow look what happened to that country that has no safety standards at all, maybe we should write another 500 pages of safety standards in our already 4000 page book."

Sorry its kind of like Mercedes Benz changing their standards because somebody else had a problem with a Yugo.


04-26-2008, 10:50 AM
a nite club fire? this cant be good for haunted hauses? wtf? :mad: