Father of Station Nightclub fire victim takes on Donald Trump over fire marshals

Dave Kane
Dave Kane

(NOTE: is always willing to post opposing views.)

News accounts show that since July of 2015 Donald Trump has pulled the “FM Card” during speeches and rallies in at least ten different jurisdictions. In most cases, Trump asked during his speech that the fire marshal allow more people in or pointed at the fire marshal for not letting others in. But it took on a new level a eight-days-ago in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That’s when Trump questioned the integrity and competence of Fire Marshal Brett Lacey. Lacey, a registered Republican since 1993, was accused of being a Democrat possibly working for Hillary Clinton.

In Columbus, Ohio on Monday fire officials there were also caught up in Trump’s claims that politics was involved in allowing only 1000 people to attend a rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Multiple reporters, from different publications, followed up on these allegations in Colorado Springs and Columbus. They found nothing to support Trump’s claims that politics were at play and instead found agreements signed by the Trump campaign that clearly showed the occupancy. I urge you to read these articles: Show Trump Officials Agreed to Limit Rally Size, Contradicting the Candidate; WSYX-TV-Contract shows Trump campaign agreed to smaller event; Columbus Dispatch-Theodore Decker commentary: Trump sees bias, but convention center rules were in contract his campaign signed; The Denver Channel-Fact-Check: Trump falsely accuses Colorado fire marshal of ‘incompetence’ over crowd-size limits; falsely accuses Colorado fire marshal of ‘incompetence’ over crowd restrictions; KVOR Radio-Fire Marshal responds after Trump speech; to turn anti-fire service tirades into safety messages.

Donald Trump’s campaign is far from the first to regularly overbook campaign events. It’s done to make sure the hall is full and to have evidence for the cameras of an overflow crowd clamoring to get in. For example, on Tuesday in Ashburn, Virginia, the Loudoun County fire marshal told The Washington Post that the Trump campaign handed out 5000 tickets for just 860 seats.

FL Daytona Beach FM booed 8-3-16

The biggest difference between the Trump campaign and others is it’s the only one I’ve seen that regularly tries to make the fire marshal the bad guy in the eyes of those attending or watching the event.  While that didn’t happen on Tuesday in Virginia something very interesting happened yesterday (Wednesday) at a Trump event in Daytona Beach, Florida. An announcement that mentioned the fire marshal prior to Donald Trump’s arrival brought booing from the crowd.

RI West Warwick Nicholas O'
Nicholas O’Neill

One man who thinks none of this is healthy for the fire service, fire marshals and especially the public is Dave Kane. Dave Kane is a a radio talk show host, comedian, performance artist, and author. He’s also the father of Nicholas O’Neill, who at 18 was the youngest person to die in the 2003 fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The fire killed 100 people. Since that fire, Mr. Kane has become a proponent of fire safety awareness and the enforcement of strict laws for the administration of fire safety inspections on public buildings

Below are Dave Kane’s thoughts on Donald Trump and fire safety:

The views of Dave Kane

In the past year I, like so many Americans, have been exposed to the pasquinade that is Donald Trump. A pasquinade is a farce in a public place. Each time he spoke on a new topic I would go through the “seven stages of Trump”. Like the seven stages of grief, Trump rhetoric brings on certain feelings and calls for a series of actions in an attempt to cope with the trauma.

First, you are stunned. Then, you rewind the DVR to make sure you heard it correctly. Third, you repeat what you thought he said in an effort to find some sense. The next three stages vary according to your life experience and religious beliefs. The last stage is always the same, total despair.

But, this week I didn’t have to go through any of those stages. The words Trump spoke were clear. His trade mark ignorance and apparent disregard for public safety, unmistakable.

According to MSNBC reports, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Friday afternoon, Trump repeatedly called out the event’s fire marshal for not allowing more people into the venue. “Hey, maybe they’re a Hillary person. Could that be possible? Probably,” Trump said of the marshal, complaining that the attendance limit was “unfair.” “Then you wonder why we’re going to hell. That’s why we’re going to hell.”

There it is in a nutshell. The classic Trump mantra “I want what I want and I don’t care who I hurt or endanger to get it”. Anyone who has been touched by the horror of the Station Nightclub fire is sure to recognize this attitude. It is the same selfishly stupid mindset that took the lives and disfigured the bodies of so many of our loved ones.

In November, if you can’t bring yourself to vote for Trump’s opponent. Then write in a name. Write in a name of someone you respect. A good person, a caring person, someone who is loved, appreciated and missed. If you need help thinking of someone, I have a list of 100 names I could suggest.

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