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Nightclub owners face a new accusation

PROVIDENCE -- State prosecutors have accused the owners of The Station nightclub of installing a second flammable substance at the club.

In court briefs submitted on Friday, prosecutors said that Jeffrey and Michael Derderian had put in a material called Celotex SoundStop in the West Warwick club, although there were visible warnings on the product about its flammability, according to The Providence Journal.

A fire at The Station killed 100 and injured 200.

The Derderians bought and installed the wood-fiber material between March 1 and July 1, 2000, according to the brief. Prosecutors allege the Celotex in some places formed the backing for the flammable polyurethane foam on the club's ceiling. That foam has been linked to the acceleration of the fire.

The Celotex is manufactured by Knight Industries of Northfield, Ill., the newspaper reported. The company's website describes Celotex SoundStop as "fiberboard made of 97 percent organic materials including recovered hardwood or sugar cane fibers." It is sold in several places, including Providence, East Providence, and Fall River, Mass.

Jeffrey Derderian's lawyer, , Jeff Pine, said yesterday that his client is prohibited from commenting on evidence in the case.

Kathleen Hagerty, a lawyer for Michael Derderian, did not immediately return a phone message left yesterday.

Lawyers for some of the fire's victims were quoted as having told the newspaper that they had not been told about the Celotex developments.

The Derderians and Daniel Biechele, the former tour manager for the band Great White, pleaded not guilty in December 2003 to multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Their criminal trial is not expected to begin until January 2006 at the earliest.

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