PROVIDENCE, R.I. – News that a deadly fire killed scores of concertgoers prompted Rhode Islanders -- from bank managers, religious leaders and hockey fans -- to offer what assistance they could.
After the Red Cross announced a blood shortage early Friday, the state's blood banks were overwhelmed with those wanting to give blood to aid some of the roughly 200 people injured at The Station nightclub. At least 96 people died.
Fans of the minor league hockey team the Providence Bruins chipped in about $7,500 during the team's game Friday night against the Lowell Lock Monsters, while the team's owners and the American Hockey League each donated $1,000.
Several banks established victim relief funds and began accepting donations. Nortek Holdings Inc., one of the state's largest employers, announced it would donate $50,000 to assist victims' families.
Catholic Charities of Rhode Island also established an emergency fund.
"All of us in Rhode Island are stunned and grieved by the horrific fire in West Warwick," the Most Rev. Robert E. Mulvee, Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, said in a statement. "There were so many lives lost, so many injured, so many lives devastated by this tragedy."
Cable provider Cox Communications set up donation boxes at 10 service centers around the state. United Healthcare offered free, 24-hour telephone counseling for families and others affected by the tragedy.