A man was killed and his newlywed husband was critically injured while apparently trying to escape a large blaze that broke out in their 42-story Manhattan apartment building Sunday morning, officials say.
The men, 27-year-old Daniel McClung and 32-year-old Michael Todd Cohen, were found in a stairwell near the 31st floor of The Strand condominium suffering from smoke inhalation and burns after the three-alarm fire erupted more than 10 stories below at the building on West 43rd Street, the FDNY said.
McClung died and Cohen is in stable condition at a hospital. The couple married in July, neighbors told NBC 4 New York.
More than 200 firefighters responded to put out the blaze, which began in a hallway of the 20th floor, according to the FDNY.
It took firefighters about an hour and 40 minutes to get the blaze under control, authorities said. Crews got to the scene quickly, but it took some time for firefighters to reach the higher floors.
"In a building this size, it takes a lot of firefighters to get up to the upper floors," assistant chief John Sudnik says. "It requires a lot of resources and it takes time."
It is unknown what sparked the fire. The occupant of the apartment in which the blaze started said he had stepped out to get something from the store before flames broke out.
Seven other residents and some firefighters had some minor injuries.
"If people would have stayed in and opened a window in their apartment and stayed near the window and waited for the fire department to come, they would have been better off," Sudnik says.
George Galey, a resident 12 floors above where the fire started, said there was smoke damage in his unit.
"First thing I thought it was fog," he says. "Then I couldn't see the building across street. I knew it was more than fog, it was smoke."
Officials said it would be a while before residents were allowed back in the building, mostly because the elevators were still out of service. Red Cross was on the scene assisting.