GREAT WHITE FIRE DEATH TOLL RISES TO 99

Two weeks after the blaze, a 39-year-old man dies of his injuries...

The death toll from the GREAT WHITE fire gig has risen to 99.

Mitchell C Schubert, 39, died at the end of last week.

The construction worker from Newbury, Florida, was in Rhode Island visiting family and friends, when he was caught up in the blaze at the Station nightclub which has also left 180 people injured.

He died of his injuries at in Massachusetts General Hospital on Thursday (March 6).

The fire started when a spark from the band’s pyrotechnic display ignited the soundproofing foam insulation lining the walls of the club on February 20 as Great White began their set.

On the same day Schubert died, an attorney for Great White disputed claims that the band regularly used pyrotechnics without notice, and stated that they had permission to use the effects that allegedly started the fire.>

Since the tragedy, the Station nightclub and Great White have disagreed whether the band told the nightclub’s owners about the use of pyrotechnics in their show.

As reported on Billboard, attorney Ed McPherson said that tour manager Dan Biechele gained verbal permission from Station owner Michael Derderian, who runs the club with his brother Jeffrey, about a week before the fire.

Jeffery Derderian’ s lawyer, Jeff Pine, said that a phone conversation did take place between Michael and Biechele a week before Great White performed, but says that the subject of pyrotechnics was never raised.

“It absolutely wasn’t discussed,” he said. “They talked about what kind of food and other provisions and speciality items the band needed-towels, food and certain arrangements-and there was absolutely no mention of pyrotechnics.”

Biechele has refused to comment since the incident.

The comments follow the filing of the first civil lawsuits last Wednesday (March 5) on behalf of the relatives of two victims lost in the tragedy. Wrongful death actions have been brought against 14 defendants, including members of the band, their tour manager, the town of West Warwick and its fire inspector.

In related news, Paul Woolnough, president of Great White’s record label, Knight Records, has set up a memorial foundation to help the victims of the fire and their families.

In a statement posted on the Knight Records website, he said: “After much thought as to how we could help the victims of the West Warwick tragedy, I decided that from now on, we will donate $5 from the proceeds of each CD sold on our online store to the various relief funds.”