The Stardust fire was a fatal fire which took place at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, Ireland in the early hours of 14 February 1981. Some 841 people had attended a disco there, of whom 48 died and 214 were injured as a result of the fire. The club was located where Butterly Business Park now lies, opposite Artane Castle Shopping Centre.
The fire was said to have started on a balcony inside the building, although since the tragedy some evidence has suggested that the fire derived from an electrical fault in the roof space, next to a storage room containing dangerously flammable materials. Staff attempted to extinguish it and failed; they then tried to contain it by closing the door leading to the balcony and ordering the users of a private room to evacuate. Guests in other parts of the nightclub were not informed, nor was an alarm sounded.
The fire was first spotted in a seating area in the west section of the building, although the fire was only very small when first seen, a ferocious burst of heat and lots of thick black smoke quickly started coming from the ceiling, causing the material in the ceiling to melt and drip on top of patrons and other highly flammable materials including the seats and carpet tiles on the walls. The fire quickly spread into the main area of the club causing the lights to fail. This caused mass panic as patrons began desperately looking for an escape.