PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A foundation working to build a permanent memorial at the site of a deadly 2003 nightclub fire caused by a band's pyrotechnics has asked the lead singer to take the foundation's name off a benefit concert.
The fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick was started when pyrotechnics for the heavy metal band Great White ignited flammable foam that lined the club's walls and ceiling. It killed 100 people and injured more than twice that many. The 10th anniversary is Feb. 20.
The band's lead singer at the time, Jack Russell, announced on Tuesday that he would play a Feb. 7 benefit for the Station Fire Memorial Foundation in a club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., near Los Angeles. Members of the foundation learned of the show Wednesday, Victoria Eagan, the foundation's vice president, told The Associated Press on Friday. Members of the group did not wish to be associated with the event and immediately began working to get Russell to drop his use of its name.
"This is due to the resentment and animosity still felt by many of the families and survivors that our very organization represents," the foundation wrote in a statement. "We feel that the upset caused by his involvement would outweigh the amount of funds raised at this event."
In a statement to the AP Friday, Russell said he would honor the request and donate the money from his show to a different charity that he would determine soon.
"I am utterly saddened by the response of the foundation and the motives behind it," he wrote.