NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The husband of a man killed in a Hell’s Kitchen high-rise fire remained hospitalized Tuesday night, and his family said he was beginning “the long road to physical and emotional recovery.”
Michael Todd Cohen married Daniel McClung in July of last year. On Sunday, McClung, 27, was killed as he fled an extra-alarm fire at the Strand condominium apartment building, at 500 W. 43rd St. near Tenth Avenue.
Cohen, 32, was rushed to the NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, and was initially reported in critical condition. He remained hospitalized at the NewYork Presbyterian William Randolph Hearst Burn Center Tuesday night.
The 38th floor residents had tried to escape through the stairwell, but only made it down seven flights before they were overcome with smoke.
On Tuesday, Cohen’s mother, Randi; brothers Greg and Scott; and best friends Jason Mitchell Kahn and Ben Sands released a statement.
“Words cannot express the magnitude of our grief over this tragedy. As we mourn the loss of Daniel, we simultaneously are surrounding Michael with love, light and support,” the statement said. “Thank you for the amazing outpouring of love, support and concern. As Michael begins the long road to physical and emotional recovery, we ask for privacy and respect during this impossibly difficult time.”
Meanwhile, McClung’s family has not finalized funeral services for their son.
The International Academy of Web Television has set up a donation page for Cohen’s recovery. McClung’s family has asked donations to be made to the Northeast Animal Shelter in honor of McClung himself and the couple’s two dogs – Schooner and Georgia – who also died in the fire.
The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Sunday in an apartment on the 20th floor. Emergency dispatchers told residents to stay in their apartments rather than try to escape, but dozens tried to escape anyway.
Since the Sunday blaze, officials have been examining an overloaded power strip and a cheap extension cord. They said that fire and smoke spread because an apartment door did not self-close, CBS 2 reported.
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