NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man is dead, and his husband remained hospitalized Sunday night, after a three-alarm fire broke out in a high-rise fire on the West Side of Manhattan.
The blaze broke out around 11 a.m. Sunday at the Strand condominium apartment building at 500 W. 43rd St., near Tenth Avenue. Flames blasted through the windows after the fire started in apartment 20D the 20th floor of the building, fire officials said.
Flames erupted violently as smoke choked the skies, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported. Inside the building, fire and especially smoke quickly threatened trapped residents.
Building resident Daniel McClung, 27, was pronounced dead at an area hospital Sunday afternoon after suffering injuries in the fire.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, McClung – a newlywed who lived on the 38th floor of the Strand building with his husband, Michael Cohen – tried to escape. But he was later found unconscious in a 31st floor stairwell.
“That’s unbelievable that it happens. I’m speechless,” said building board president Bill Ragals.
McClung was a playwright and fiction writer who worked with Rattlestick Productions in the West Village. He had just gotten married this past July.
“He was a really, really great young writer, and it’s really disappointing to lose somebody here at that young age,” one friend said.
Officials at NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center confirmed that Cohen was the second man injured in the fire. He was initially reported in critical condition, but his condition was reported as stable late Sunday.
The flames spread to the two floors above.