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

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.