This is chillingly reminiscent of the Up Stairs Lounge massacre, but with a far happier ending. On New Year’s Eve in Seattle, somebody poured gasoline on the carpeted stairs to a crowded second-floor gay nightclub and tossed a match on it. Fortunately, some quick-thinking soldiers thwarted the attempted historical reenactment.
(For those who don’t know, the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans was a gay bar that was the target of a terrible arson attack in the 1970s. It’s an important part of our history as LGBT folks and worth at least knowing about. The Wikipedia entry is informative and not too upsetting, but be warned before searching further than Wikipedia that the details and photographs available online are horrifying and the stuff of nightmares.)
Also fortunately, the Seattle club was sprinklered and had multiple fire exits. Yay for modern fire codes, too. And for newspapers that will report on these things and police departments that will investigate them, neither of which we had in the 1970s.