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    Default Movie "WORCESTER COLD STORAGE"

    Firefighter's dad backs Worcester movie idea

    by Tom Farmer
    Thursday, February 13, 2003
    Relatives of one of the six Worcester firefighters killed in a horrific warehouse fire are going public with their support for a Hollywood movie chronicling the devastating 1999 inferno, saying the script ``brings out honor to these six men, their families and the American fire service.''


    The family of Lt. James F. ``Jay'' Lyons III is the only one of the six families in support of the film ``Worcester Cold Storage,'' which will be made by Imagine Entertainment and Warner Bros.

    Lyons' father, James F. Lyons Jr., told the Herald he understands and respects why the other families don't want the movie, but said he has read the script and it portrays the six men as ``heroes'' and shows their ``valor and courage.''

    ``We are not opposed to it if it's done by Imagine and Warner Bros.,'' Lyons said. ``This film will not make it any worse for us or any better for us. We live with the memories of this every day.''

    The Dec. 3, 1999, fire in the vacant, mostly windowless, six-story brick building also claimed the lives of Lt. Thomas E. Spencer and firefighters Jeremiah Lucey, Paul A. Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson and Joseph T. McGuirk. The movie screenplay is based on the book ``3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It'' by Sean Flynn.

    While the six families gave interviews and posed for pictures for a July 2000 Esquire magazine article written by Flynn, five of the families say they did not know Flynn was writing a book. After Imagine and Warner Bros. bought the film rights, the five families and Worcester Fire Department union President Frank Raffa said they were told a movie would not be made unless it had all the families' approval.

    When the five families and Worcester firefighters learned the film was going to be made against their wishes, they expressed vehement opposition, saying it was going to bring back their grief and heartbreak, particularly to the younger children left fatherless.

    ``Mr. Lyons thinks it might be a good thing and we respect his opinion, but nonetheless we're going to be out there advocating they not make the movie,'' said Raffa.

    Thomas Spencer's son, Patrick, 20, now a Paxton firefighter, said the families and Worcester firefighters have only recently been able to put some of their hurt aside and a movie will only bring it back.

    ``Is it necessary to rehash this, all to line the pockets of people in Hollywood?'' he asked. ``I don't see how it benefits anybody other than them.''

    Lyons said he is sympathetic to the other families' stance but noted a film can be made regardless of how they feel.

    ``They have legitimate and real concerns and we can understand the apprehension here,'' Lyons said, adding Imagine and Warner Bros. are reputable and experienced filmmakers.

    Lyons said the script by Worcester native Scott Silver ``is an important contribution to the history of what happened. It brings out how these men cared for each other and the difficulty in fighting this fire and the failure of equipment they experienced.''

    The still-grieving father said he wants the movie to be a ``positive influence to young people and I hope it would influence and inspire them to be firefighters.''


    http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/lo...rc02132003.htm

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    Default Movie "Worcester Cold Storage" Families Against

    Movie "Worcester Cold Storage" Families Against
    Filming to start in Aug.
    Saturday, February 8, 2003

    By Kathleen A. Shaw
    Telegram & Gazette Staff


    WORCESTER-- The families of six firefighters who died in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage fire are launching a drive to keep Warner Brothers and Imagine Entertainment from making a movie about the blaze.
    Judging from the calls made to the Boston special events and tourism office this week, filming will not be done in Worcester.
    The screenplay for “Worcester Cold Storage” is being written by Worcester native Scott Silver, who last night did not return telephone calls seeking comment. He wrote the script for “8 Mile,” the popular Eminem film.
    Michael Mann, Oscar-nominated director of “The Insider” and “Ali,” has signed on to direct the film.
    “We are doing it for our children,” said Michelle Lucey, widow of Firefighter Jeremiah M. Lucey. The families were offered money from the movie companies but turned it down, she said. Other movie companies also approached the families about doing a film and they received the same negative response, she said.
    Mrs. Lucey, who has given television and newspaper interviews, has emerged as spokeswoman for the families. “We don't want a movie made about us. You would think they would go find someone who wants a movie made,” she said.
    Mrs. Lucey, whose sons are 11 and 14, said last night they have begged her to stop the film because they do not want to continually relive the pain and loss.
    “You'd think they'd at least wait until the youngest child, now 9, was old enough to understand,” she said.
    The movie is to be based on Sean Flynn's book -- “3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It” -- which was published by Warner Books. Mrs. Lucey said none of the families agreed to cooperate with the book. She and others were approached about two months after the fire by Mr. Flynn, who said he was researching a magazine article.
    “We never were told he was writing a book,” she said. They were never told the book could or would be made into a movie, she said.
    A spokeswoman for Warner Brothers has told the Boston Herald the studio intended to make the movie.
    Imagine Entertainment is Oscar-winner Ron Howard's production company. Representatives of Imagine also did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
    Representatives of the production company contacted Boston's Office of Special Events, Tourism and Film earlier this week because they were looking for warehouses in the Boston area and other sites needed for the project.
    The fire, which took the lives of Firefighters Lucey, Paul A. Brotherton and Joseph T. McGuirk and Lts. Thomas E. Spencer, James F. Lyons III and Timothy P. Jackson, erupted on Dec. 3, 1999. Filming is scheduled to begin in August.
    Frank Raffa, president of International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1009, also was not immediately available for comment, but he told the Boston Herald that his union and the families made it clear more than a year ago they did not want the movie made.
    Mrs. Lucey said they were invited to attend a meeting at the Beechwood Hotel only a few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks where they met with James Whittaker of Imagine. “I remember him saying specifically that if even one family objected to the film, it would not be made. It was all or none. I say now, does he even remember what he said?” Mrs. Lucey said. Mr. Raffa also attended.
    The union and families are also contacting firefighters throughout the United States to enlist their support in stopping the film. “The Boston firefighters have agreed to back us,” she said.
    Mrs. Lucey said the families have moved on with their lives but still live daily with the pain of their loss.
    “It starts with that book. Then there is a movie and then a videotape, DVD and on it goes. It's like it is always in our face,” she said. It is particularly difficult for the young children who lost their fathers in the fire.
    “We also believe there is nothing good to come from this movie. We'd prefer that a documentary be made on how little equipment firefighters across the country have to fight fires,” she said.
    “All Hollywood sees is dollar signs,” Mrs. Lucey said.

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    Default Next film about 1999 firefighter tragedy.

    Mann Moves to Worcester
    Next film about 1999 firefighter tragedy.

    February 07, 2003 - The Boston Herald reports that Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann's next film will be Worcester Cold Storage for Imagine Entertainment and Warner Brothers. The fact-based drama will be scripted by Scott Silver (8 Mile) and based on Sean Flynn's 2002 book, 3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It. Both Silver and Flynn are Massachusetts natives. No casting has taken place yet but the filmmakers are reportedly inquiring with Boston's Office of Special Events, Tourism and Film for suitable locations. Filming begins this August.

    Worcester will recount the horrific December 3, 1999 warehouse blaze that killed six firefighters in Worcester, Massachusetts. (Comic-actor Denis Leary's cousin and childhood best friend were both killed in the disaster, prompting Leary to become a prominent philanthropist for firefighters.) The film's title refers to the name of the building where the fire broke out.

    The blaze was accidentally sparked by a bickering homeless couple who were later charged with involuntary manslaughter; they ultimately received five years probation. The homeless couple, who are both mentally ill, fled the warehouse once the fire spread and failed to inform authorities. The firemen had been searching the building to make sure no homeless people were trapped inside.

    AllBookstores.com provided the following synopsis of Flynn's book: "On December 3, 1999, the call crackled in to the men of the Worchester, Massachusetts Fire Department: a three-alarm warehouse blaze in a six-story windowless colossus of brick and mortar. Firefighters love the excitement of a 'triple.' But this was a different beast. Rollovers, flashovers, backdrafts, this one had it all. Once inside, they found themselves trapped in a snarling furnace of blazing orange heat as hot as a crematorium, with smoke so black and predatory they had to feel for their partners next to them. Swallowed deep in the building, with no way out, they struggled to survive an ill-fated ordeal that would push them to the very limits of loyalty and courage."

    For the past year Imagine Entertainment and Warner Brothers have been courting the victims' families and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1009 for their blessing on the project but to no avail. "We are completely against this movie or any other movie about the fire," Michelle Lucey, widow of fallen firefighter Jeremiah Lucey, told the Herald. Lucey has been selected to speak "on behalf of five of the six families," according to the paper.

    "We have children to think about," Lucey said. "And I don't care if they pay us a trillion dollars, I don't want to relive that pain over and over again. ... I would hope that the people of Boston would help us out by speaking against this movie"

    Frank Raffa, president of Local 1009, attended a meeting with Imagine's reps last year and "thought we made it pretty clear to them that the Local and the families opposed it. I don't see any redeeming social value in it. This union won't cooperate with any production about the fire."

    The Boston Herald says that "although the flick hasn't gotten the final go-ahead, the studio plans to make the movie." A Warner Brothers spokeswoman advised the paper that the studio "bought the rights to the book that all the families took part in. And we will proceed to develop the material into a film."

    Worcester Cold Storage isn't the first film about a Massachusetts tragedy that Warner Brothers has made. The Perfect Storm was initially met with skepticism and hostility by locals who knew the doomed fishermen portrayed in that film; ultimately, the film's success only brought national attention to Gloucester, Mass. and its fishermen's tragic history. Nevertheless, that didn't prevent the family of ship captain Billy Tyne (played by George Clooney) from filing suit against the filmmakers.
    -- Stax

    http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/385/385320p1.html

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    Default Fire film could have some merit

    Fire film could have some merit
    Thursday, February 20, 2003

    By Dianne Williamson
    Telegram & Gazette Columnist


    In the aftermath of the Worcester Cold Storage fire, it has always been about the families.
    The feelings of the wives and mothers and sons and daughters were always paramount, and rightly so, in a city that strove to comfort and protect the loved ones of six brave men who died in the stunning, unforgettable fire.
    Amid the extraordinary attention heaped on the tragedy, the local firefighters union backed the wishes of the six families in whatever they chose, or chose not, to do. Whether it was attending public events, granting interviews or cooperating for a national magazine article, the union wrapped itself around the grieving families and spoke with one voice, and a tightly knit community largely followed suit.
    Three years have passed since the Dec. 3, 1999, warehouse fire. Now, not surprisingly, a movie studio has announced plans to make a film of the dramatic event. The Warner Bros. project will be directed by Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann, a top-drawer talent who directed the terrific film “The Insider.” It will be based on a book by Sean Flynn, “3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It.” That book was an expansion of Mr. Flynn's Esquire magazine piece, which won a National Magazine Award.
    Despite the impressive pedigrees of those involved in “Worcester Cold Storage,” five of the six families are angry about the movie, saying it will only bring more hurt to the five widows and 17 children of the fallen firefighters.
    “It's awful to think so many of us are against it and they just don't care,” said Michelle Lucey of Leicester, who lost her husband, Jeremiah, in the blaze. “It just brings the pain back to us. It's just not fair to us as families.”
    The firefighters union is likewise voicing strong opposition to the film, saying it has asked Boston firefighters and others around the country to boycott the production, set to start in Boston this summer.
    “We just don't want to be reminded of it,” union President Frank Raffa said yesterday. “Not a night goes by when we don't think of it, and it's overwhelming for many of us. We don't want to bring those demons back.”
    Those sentiments are hard to ignore. No one wants to cause more pain to those who have suffered, and few can put themselves in the place of families whose grieving will likely never end.
    Still, I can't help but believe that the movie is a good idea. And I can't help but feel that the enormity of an event that transfixed a nation should transcend individual sensibilities, however heartfelt.
    Last March, shortly after the release of “3000 Degrees,” Mr. Flynn told this newspaper that he hoped his book would give readers a better appreciation of firefighters.
    “The story is just filled with heroes,” he said. “Not to mention the deep impact the fire had on the entire community. With the exception of Ground Zero, nothing in my experience has come close to Worcester.”
    Mr. Flynn also said this: “For most, the feelings about the fire will eventually fade, and that's too bad. It takes a tragedy like the Worcester Cold Storage fire to really appreciate what firefighters do.”
    His comments, I think, serve as a fitting response to one firefighter I spoke to, who said he wished Hollywood would simply make another fictional film such as “Backdraft” if it wanted to honor firefighters.
    Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it's also more powerful. And the story of six real men who rushed into a burning building surely has a sad ending, but its themes of heroism, brotherhood and sacrifice will inspire thousands of moviegoers in a way that a made-up tale never could.
    “Our intention, obviously, is to pay tribute to the firefighters who didn't survive and the firefighters who did,” a spokeswoman for Warner Bros. Pictures said yesterday. “I'm uncomfortable that there's a feeling that we're coming to plumb the grief of these families for financial gain, because nothing could be further from the truth. We have a strong desire to honor the memory of these people.”
    Only one of the families supports the film. The father of Lt. James F. “Jay” Lyons III has said that the script shows the “valor and courage” of his son and his brother firefighters, and he noted that the movie will be made regardless of his feelings.
    “This film will not make it any worse for us or any better for us,” said James Lyons Jr. “We live with the memories of this every day.”
    The 1999 warehouse blaze drew the attention of a sitting U.S. president, scores of world leaders and thousands of people around the globe who flooded the families with sympathy and donations. It's inevitable that such an incredible drama would also attract the attention of Hollywood, and we should feel honored that six selfless local men will be forever immortalized on celluloid, for everyone to see.
    Consider a film such as “Saving Private Ryan” and the impact it made on generations of young people who may have yawned when they studied World War II in school, or when their grandfathers tried to engage their interest. When seen on the big screen, the event is absorbed with new eyes.
    “Worcester Cold Storage” is still about the families, really. If the movie unfolds as it should, the grandchildren of these local heroes will someday be awed to watch their ancestors' actions depicted on film, and proud to call themselves descendants of the heroic, doomed men who fought the long-ago fire at Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co.
    And future generations will remember, which is what everyone should want.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dianne Williamson can be reached via e-mail at dwilliamson@telegram.com
    .

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    “I'm uncomfortable that there's a feeling that we're coming to plumb the grief of these families for financial gain, because nothing could be further from the truth. We have a strong desire to honor the memory of these people.”
    If they feel that way why not donate all the money the movie makes to a NY firefighters' charity or a fund for the children?? Yeah right, in our dreams maybe.

    I just think it is too soon. Its too fresh in people's memories. There's a big difference between a movie being made 50 years after the fact and 3 years after the fact. They need to wait. For the families.

    That said, would I go see the movie? Yes I would. Would my heart break for the families as I watched it? YES!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    If they feel that way why not donate all the money the movie makes to a NY firefighters' charity or a fund for the children??
    No offense, but why NY firefighters? Why not the Worcester families or charities... FDNY lost a lot of people, a couple were my friends, but FDNY is not the center of the world.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    MY UTMOST APOLOGIES TO THE RESIDENTS OF WORCESTER. I am dreadfully sorry, I can only blame it on the demerol ... I thought Worcester was in NY, not Massachusetts. It is only recently I became aware of the tragedy and am still learning about it. No excuse I know, but there it is.


    Bones you didn't have to be so bloody rude about pointing out my mistake. If you had noted the SECOND part of my comment I said OR THE CHILDREN!!!!!! Who are the children if not the FAMILIES??????

    Please do not assume I meant FDNY when I said NY!!! I got the states wrong for crying out loud.

    Again, I'm very sorry to the residents of Worcester and Massachusetts for my error.

    UPDATED: God I don't know what's wrong with me today .... Can't even get my rant right! So another apology in order to Smoke for the mixup.

    I have now read the entire NIOSH report and apologize again for my previous ignorance.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 02-20-2003 at 09:10 PM.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    RspctFrmCalgary - I said No Offense! God knows I don't want a W.O.T. after me in a bad way There were a couple of other threads I read yesterday about the Government giving out/not giving out money, and lots of posts in them "how could they do this to FDNY?". Well, no offense to FDNY, but others need money too. Your post was the last one I read (in the wrong context) and it broke the camel's back for the day. Not attacking you, just venting.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Default Update Worcester Cold Storage Movie

    Tuesday 25th February 2003: Worcester Cold Storage Update:
    Rumours are circulating that Michael Mann has dropped out of the director's chair for Worcester Cold Storage. The production is thought to have been working on fire effects for the movie already but Mann is thought to have dropped out due to the greenlit not being approved for the movie, and also objections from five families of the dead firefighters.

    Tuesday 25th February 2003

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