Local man who lost friends in Brazil nightclub fire talks to 10News

SAN DIEGO - A local man who lost several friends in the nightclub fire in Brazil spoke with 10News on Monday.

Images from half a world away in Santa Maria, Brazil hit home for San Diegan Alvaro Germanos.

"Mad, you know… with the lack of responsibility," he told 10News.

Germanos is mad at the owners of club Kiss. Early reports show they lacked proper codes, exits or fire extinguishers. Those missteps are being blamed for the deaths of 231 people in a fire at Kiss that occurred early Sunday. Four people have been arrested in connection with what happened.  

"I woke up in the morning, and I'm getting messages already," said Germanos, who is originally from a town in Brazil less than an hour away. "You know, a terrible thing happened."

Through Facebook, within hours, Germanos learned that terrible thing reached his town, Cachoeira de Sul, and people who he knew.

"The first thing that I did was start contacting some people down there and you know, send some prayers," he said.

The nightclubs in San Diego are strictly monitored and have been for some time. Enforcement especially cracked down following the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island in 2003 when pyrotechnics for the heavy metal band Great White ignited flammable foam that lined the club's walls and ceiling. One hundred people died and the tragedy prompted stricter rules at clubs nationwide.

Germanos hopes the tragedy in his country will have the same result.

"People are in church right now," he said. "The stores are closed. People are not doing anything. People are in shock still."

The 10th anniversary of the Rhode Island nightclub fire is Feb. 20. The band Great White is scheduled to play at the Sycuan Casino on Feb. 1.


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