Providence cracking down on illegal nightclubs

The city of Providence has shut down an illegal nightclub that was operating from an Old Mill on Hartford Avenue.

Mayor Jorge Elorza says an investigation found a number of safety violations, including two gasoline-powered generators on the roof with extension cords feeding power to the club.

There were also open gasoline containers in rooms where people were smoking.

Elorza told reporters that these conditions were so bad they could have easily caused a massive tragedy like the Station Nightclub fire.

"Without exaggerating this could have been a devastating disaster for the city,” said Elorza. "It’s my understanding that it was one of these all night clubs. They would open late and they would and they would stay open until very early in the morning. It was unregulated, they didn’t have a certificate of occupancy and they were operating completely against the law."

The mayor says police became aware of the situation in mid to late

Tenants who work in the building that shares the same parking lot say they had no idea this was going on.

"It all happened in the middle of the night so we didn’t know,” said Laura Grimes.

Grimes tells ABC 6 News that it’s scary to think of the what if’s.

"Anything could have happened,” said Grimes. “We’re running a legitimate business like I said there’s a church in here, there’s all kinds of legitimate things going on in here. But, anyway he’s gone."

When asked about arrests the mayor would only say that this illegal club is still under investigation.

He also adds that officials will continue to search for other illegal clubs in the city.

© WLNE-TV 2015