The Palace cub

The state fire marshal’s office has closed a Baton Rouge club after finding almost 800 people dangerously overcrowded inside the building Saturday.

A cease and desist was issued against The Palace 2300, located off Scenic Highway, after an excessive amount of people were found inside Saturday night causing safety hazards, according to Ashley Rodrigue, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Deputies for the fire marshal’s office counted around 725 people as they were leaving the building and noticed around 50 people leaving while they were there. Multiple fire code violations were also found, including not having a fire alarm or fire sprinkler and having emergency exit doors blocked, according to Rodrigue.

The club also did not have state approval to be open for such large gatherings. If they had approval to open their capacity limit would be 100 to keep in line with fire code regulations.

The state fire marshal’s office learned about the excessive crowd at the club after they had originally planned to investigate a video shared online of large crowds at Pure, another Baton Rouge club, Rodrigue said. When deputies arrived at Pure Saturday night, they learned the event schedule for the night had been moved to The Palace 2300.

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The owner of club, Torrey Lewis, said he plans to take legal action against the state fire marshal for the shutdown, according to a report by WBRZ.

Lewis claimed there were not 800 people inside of the club Saturday night and called the investigation an “illegal raid,” the television station reported.

"They came in there and ran everybody out. It was terrifying. It was nothing a customer should have to go through," Lewis said.

The fire marshal’s office said the business will remain closed until a plan review is submitted and approved and a final inspection is done.


EMAIL JULIA GUILBEAU AT JGUILBEAU@THEADVOCATE.COM OR FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER, @JULIAGUILB.