Jeffrey and Michael Derderian: What Happened to Station Nightclub Owners?

In February 2003, a terrible tragedy struck the Station Nightclub in Rhode Island when a music band using fireworks ended up setting the acoustic foam ablaze. The fire engulfed the packed nightclub leading to the death of a hundred people while 230 others were seriously injured. ’48 Hours: The Station Nightclub Fire: Who’s Responsible?’ paints a vivid picture of this tragedy and follows the subsequent investigation, which charged nightclub owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian with 200 counts of manslaughter each. Let’s delve into the details of the horrifying incident and find out where they are at present, shall we?

Who Are Jeffrey and Michael Derderian?

Jeffrey and Michael Derderian owned the Station Nightclub when it went up in flames in 2003. On February 20, 2003, a band called Jack Russell’s Great White was playing at the nightclub with a set that required fireworks to be set off near the stage for the full experience. Band manager Daniel Biechele, thus set off four gerb fireworks, but they immediately engulfed the walls around the stage in flame. With the acoustic foam having caught on fire, the flames rapidly rose to the ceiling. However, the audience thought that the fire was a part of the show, and thus it took them a few precious seconds to realize the danger.

Jeffrey later mentioned that he was tending to the bar at the time of the incident and even tried (albeit in vain) to fight the fire alongside another employee. Moreover, with everyone struggling to escape simultaneously, the club’s small entrance got bottlenecked, and people got stuck inside while the flames rapidly engulfed the one-storied wooden establishment. Although firefighters rushed to the scene and managed to subdue the fire following a massive battle, they could not minimize the enormous casualties. One hundred people lost their lives in the incident, and 230 people were severely injured and required immediate medical attention.

In the aftermath of the incident, investigations revealed that the establishment did not have a proper sprinkler system which would have gone a long way towards combating the flames. Furthermore, there was also a belief that the nightclub exceeded the legal capacity of 300 people on that night, although both Michael and Jeffrey rejected this claim on the show and mentioned that the legal capacity was more than 400.

Jeffrey and Michael Derderian Are Leading Private Lives Today

Ultimately, according to the show, the investigation concluded that there was negligence on the part of both the owners and the band manager, which led to the terrible tragedy. Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, along with Daniel Biechele, were thus each charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter. However, a trial was not required as the brothers, who’d bought the bar in 2000, soon pleaded no contest to 100 counts of manslaughter.

As a result, while Michael Derderian was sentenced to 4 years in prison in 2006, his brother, Jeffrey, received a suspended sentence along with probation and community service. Daniel Biechele also pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter and was sent to prison. Michael was released early from behind bars in 2009, which is when the brothers, along with their childhood friend, Jody King (who lost his brother in the fire), chose to establish the Station Education Fund, which helps children who lost their parents in the 2003 fire through college scholarships.

As for their current standing, from what we can tell, Michael Derderian managed to obtain his license to sell insurance in 2013. There are sources that further claim he was building a new life with his second wife, Kristina Link, by this point as his divorce from his first was finalized merely six days following the disaster. On the other hand, per the last reports, Jeffrey Derderian quit his journalism job after the blaze and was employed at a food company based out of Middletown called Lang Pharma Nutrition. At present, the duo prefer a veil of privacy on their personal lives and have even kept away from talking about the incident for years — the ’48 Hours’ episode marks them breaking their silence.

Read More: Where Are Linda Saran and Jody King Now?