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On the night of the fire, Samuel Bond‘s old Marine buddy invited him to celebrate his upcoming wedding. So Bond, 27, traveled from Richmond to Washington, D.C., and headed to the Good Guys strip club to join the bachelor party. At around 7 p.m., he sat down, had a couple drinks, talked with his buddy’s military friends, and watched naked women dance. About an hour into the party, Bond heard a commotion, he says. He turned to see two individuals “grappling” with each other, he says; one of them had what looked to be a can in one hand and a “stove lighter” in the other. They fought for 5 to 6 seconds before Bond saw them “pitching to the ground.” A small flame from the man’s hand spread quickly across the club.
“Everyone started yelling and trying to get out,” says Bond, a Marine Corps captain. When the flame ignited, he and his friends rushed to the exit. He looked over his shoulder and saw “an individual completely engulfed in flames.” He thought he saw another member of the bachelor party “trying to roll some of the flame off of him.” It wasn’t working.
After exiting the club, says Bond, he and another member of the party made their way to the front of the club. They opened the front door to try to find anyone left behind. They went next door to get a fire extinguisher, then returned to Good Guys and extinguished the rest of the flame, which was still burning in the club’s tables and chairs. A couple minutes later, he says, emergency personnel arrived.