Two people were killed and a number of others injured on 26 March (15), when a fire, believed to have been sparked by a gas leak, ripped through two apartment buildings in Manhattan's East Village.

The Sopranos actress Drea de Matteo was among those who lost their homes in the blaze, and now novelist Alan Kaufman and artist Jim Storm have joined forces to help stage a theatre fundraiser to boost donations to the GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side) foundation, which is providing aid to victims of the tragedy.

Organisers wanted Sting to perform at the Theater 80 benefit next Sunday (12Apr15), but he had to turn down the request due to prior commitments. Instead, he and Styler decided to donate a reported $36,000 (£22,500) to the cause.

Kaufman tells the New York Post, "We reached out to (Sting) to see if he could perform, but it turns out he’s abroad. He just turns around and made this amazing donation."

He adds, "(The fundraising event) is really the effort of people pulling together from the area and the arts. Really, it’s mobilised and motivated by shock and compassion."

All proceeds from the bash will be donated to GOLES.