NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The cause of a Manhattan high-rise fire that claimed a man’s life Sunday was electrical, according to the FDNY.
The electrical fire was caused by several items being plugged into a power strip, said FDNY Chief of Operations James Esposito.
A self-closing door that didn’t close helped fan the flames, Esposito said.
Police had a large area in front of the building at 43rd Street and 10th Avenue blocked off Monday as debris from the fire continued to rain down on the street.
Daniel McClung, 27,who died while trying to escape the fire may have been better off staying in his apartment, officials said Monday.
The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Sunday in an apartment on the 20th floor. 911 operators told residents to stay in their apartments rather than try to escape, but dozens shrugged off the advice.
“We come out, and the whole place was full of smoke,” said Frank Reynolds, who lives on the 41st floor. “The only place to go was on the sundeck on the top, so I was out there on the snow. All I had was a towel.”
“I just panicked just like everybody else,” said resident Jane Elissa.