After deadly Hell’s Kitchen fire, new safety regulations proposed

hell's kitchen fire
Councilman Corey Johnson, right, proposed new fire safety regulations Monday after Javier Morgado, center, created an online petition when his friend died while escaping a blaze in Hell’s Kitchen last week.
Credit: William Alatriste/New York City Council

A week after a Manhattan man died fleeing a fire with his new husband, friends stood on the steps of City Hall Monday to support safety measures that might have saved his life.

“Today we would be celebrating the six-month anniversary of this couple’s wedding,” friend Javier Morgado said. “Instead, we’re dealing with a tragedy and trying to make something good of it.”

Daniel McClung, 27, died trying to escape a fire with Michael Todd Cohen, 32, in their Hell’s Kitchen apartment building Jan. 5. The couple fled down a stairwell after a three-alarm blaze broke out on a different floor.

Firefighters were using the same stairwell to run a hose to put out the flames and it filled with smoke, killing McClung and critically-injuring Cohen.

Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson proposed legislation Monday that would require buildings taller than six stories to have emergency public-address systems in stairwells and hallways. The systems would allow first responders and landlords to communicate better with residents, he and other officials said.

Such systems are currently required for residential buildings over 125 feet tall and built in or after 2009. Johnson said such a system could have alerted the couple to stay in their apartment.

“This is a common-sense, easy solution to protect lives,” Johnson said.

Morgado contacted Johnson after launching an online petition calling for a public-address requirement in high-rises.

“We need something good to come of this,” said Morgado, whose petition has received more than 5,000 signatures.

Fire officials said last week that the couple might have been safer from the 20th floor-fire in their own apartment on the 38th floor.

“This gentleman would be alive today if he had stayed in his apartment,” former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said.

Johnson said he has informed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office of the proposed legislation and is open to amending the bill based on recommendations from the fire department.

Still unaware his husband has died, Cohen remains at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in stable condition.

“You’re never prepared to go through something like this,” said Jason Mitchell, 34, who has known Cohen for a decade and spoke on behalf of his family. “But we are all very, very touched and grateful for everything that has happened with this petition.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Television

Adrien Brody shows off his lock picking in…

Adrien Brody talks about his role in the History channel's new "Houdini" miniseries.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.