"This paper examines the incidence and characteristics of nightclub fires. In February of 2003, a fire in The Station nightclub in the Town of West Warwick, RI killed 100 people. This tragic fire focused national attention on fire safety at nightclubs and other small venues and caused local fire jurisdictions to reevaluate their fire safety regulations. Based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), more than 1,500 nightclub and bar fires caused $46 million in property damage in 2000. These constituted only 0.3% of all structure fires in 2000. Due to the relatively small frequency of nightclub fires the statistical estimates in this report may have considerable margins of error. Additionally, many small fires, such as cooking fires or small fires caused by smoking may be extinguished by nightclub staff and not reported to the local fire department. Although only a small proportion of annual fires, nightclub fires have the potential to cause high fire casualties due to maximum or over−capacity crowds on weekends or during live music performances. In the event of a fire, a full-capacity crowd may have difficulty completely exiting the building, trapping some patrons inside."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (June 2004), v.3 no.7