Deadly RI fire remembered; memorial plans advance

By By MICHELLE R. SMITH

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Ten years after a deadly nightclub fire in Rhode Island, some survivors and relatives of the 100 who died in the blaze remember it with quiet pain.

Huddled together in bitter cold, they brought flowers Sunday and paid their respects at handmade crosses that dot the site of the 2003 fire for each person who died. Some cried and spoke of missing their loved ones and the difficulty of moving past such trauma.

Walter Castle Jr. said, "It's just very tough." Castle survived the fire but suffered third-degree burns in his lungs, throat and bronchial tubes.

The anniversary of the blaze is Wednesday. The fire broke out when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable packing foam that had been installed in the club as soundproofing.

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