The Beverly Hills Supper Club was an entertainment and dining spot in Southgate, Kentucky, USA, just south of the Ohio River and Cincinnati, Ohio. The Beverly Hills Supper Club first opened in 1971, though the site had been a popular nightspot and illegal gambling house as early as 1937. It was believed several thousand people were in the club the night of the fire.
The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire is the third deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. It occurred on the night of May 28, 1977, (Memorial Day weekend), at around 9 p.m. More than 2000 people were in the multi-story building, and 165 died. The fire is listed by the World Almanac among "Some of the Most Notable Fires Since 1835".
The majority of the dead were found crowded around two poorly marked exits from the "Caberet" room.
The cause of the fire was determined to be faulty aluminum wiring. A lack of a sprinkler system added to the trouble, but the majority of the deaths were blamed on poorly marked exits and flammable carpeting and cushions that emitted toxic fumes when burned.
When the fire broke out comedian team Teter and McDonald were performing on stage and singer John Davidson, the scheduled headliner, was in the dressing room. After searching the hospitals Davidson found his music director dead in the temporary morgue.
Was the first lawsuit to utilize the concept of "Enterprise Liability" and one of the first disaster cases to sue as a class action.
The Fire That Still Rages A collection of articles looking back on the fire.
Cincinnati Post article: http://www.cincypost.com/bhfire