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Few applying to fund set up after fire

Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:37 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Only three people orphaned by a nightclub fire 10 years ago in Rhode Island have applied for college scholarships, a benefit fund says.

The Station Education Fund was set up by Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, who owned The Station nightclub in West Warwick. A fire on Feb. 20, 2003, set off by pyrotechnics used by the band Great White, killed 100 people and injured 230 more.

While seven colleges in the Providence area have promised $12.8 million in scholarships for the 76 children who lost parents in the fire, officials say only three people have applied, The Providence Journal reported. So far, $69,000 in scholarship money has been granted.

Jody King, who lost his brother in the fire, said contributions to the fund have dried up and it has stopped providing school supplies, computers and other items.

Michael Derderian pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter and served about three years in prison. Daniel Michel Biechele, the Great White tour manager, also pleaded guilty and spent time behind bars.

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