Fire officials shut down part of Minneapolis gay nightclub

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 28 2003 1:00 AM ET

Minneapolis fire officials shut down the second floor of the Gay 90's club because of safety concerns at the downtown facility. The club was cited for several fire-code violations Tuesday, including a blocked fire exit, which was padlocked, and disputed crowd limits in its upstairs rooms, Minneapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Kristi Rollwagen said. Recently KMSP-TV visited the Gay 90's as part of an investigative series into nightclub safety. The Minneapolis station this week reported that it found one of only two emergency exits blocked by a metal gate and padlocked. Rollwagen said other previous violations by the club, a recent tip, and last week's Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 97 people put the club at the top of the department's list to inspect.

Gay 90's manager Jim Hanson said Tuesday that the violations stemmed from a misunderstanding of the fire codes. Hanson said the Gay 90's lawyers and staff will work with city officials to reopen the second-floor space safely. He said he does not begrudge fire officials for checking on his club. "After everything that happened last week, I hope they're checking every club in town," he said.

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