Councilman to introduce fire safety bill in wake of deadly high-rise fire

Michael Todd Cohen & Daniel McClung
Michael Todd Cohen and Daniel McClung on their wedding day, July 13, 2013. Credit: Javier Morgado

The death of a 27-year-old playwright in a Manhattan fire last week continues to draw attention, and has prompted a bill calling for new fire safety measures in high-rise residential buildings.

Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson is expected to announce the legislation later this morning, according to his chief of staff, Jeffrey LeFrancois. The law would ensure that first responders and building management are able to communicate with residents in emergencies.

A blaze broke out inside an apartment on the 20th floor of The Strand, located at 43rd Street and 10th Avenue, on Jan. 5.

Daniel McClung and his husband, Michael Todd Cohen, were trying to flee the building through an emergency stairwell when they were overcome by heavy smoke. McClung died and Cohen remains hospitalized.

Javier Morgado, a close friend of the couple, started an online petition last week calling on the City Council to introduce the bill. The petition has more than 5,100 signatures.

“[Daniel and Michael] were the unlucky ones. They chose the stairwell filled with smoke,” Morgado told Metro last week. “If there had been a public address system, like they have in office buildings, that critical information could have been communicated.”

Among the bill’s supporters is former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen.

“If older buildings are able to add wiring for the Internet and cable TV, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to require a public address speaker system in the stairwells that might save lives,” Von Essen said.

Today’s announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. on the steps of City Hall.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…