Daniel McClung, a Manhattan playwright and fiction writer, died this week after attempting to flee his high-rise apartment during a fire. He was 27.
News reports state that McClung was trying to exit the 42-story building via one of its stairwells, but was overcome by smoke. According to The New York Times, McClung's husband was also found in the stairwell. He is in serious but stable condition, stated the Times. The newlyweds were married this past summer.
The New York City Fire Department told the New York Daily News that the blaze began on a 20th floor apartment and was sparked by a "power strip with multiple low-grade extension cords plugged into it." The apartment's tenant wasn't home at the time of the fire, according to reports.
The couple may have avoided tragedy if they stayed in their apartment, James Esposito, FDNY chief of operations, told the New York Daily News. "Ninety-nine percent of the time you're safer in your apartment," said Esposito. "If you do smell some smoke coming underneath your door, put some wet towels down and call the fire department."