High-rise building fire safety

High-rise building fire safety

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

On the outside of the high-rise Strand apartment building on 43 Street and 10th Avenue Monday, crews replaced soot-covered and broken windows from Sunday's deadly 3-alarm fire.

An electrical fire was contained on the 20th floor of the high rise but smoke permeated the building because the apartment door was left open and did not close on its own, the FDNY said.

Daniel McClung and his husband, Michael Todd Cohen, lived on the 38th floor and walked down a stairwell to escape the fire. But they chose a stairwell opened by firefighters to fight the blaze and it was filled with smoke. The smoke killed McClung.

Cohen was in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Chief James Esposito of the FDNY said that had McClung stayed in his apartment he would have survived. He said that generally you are better off staying in your own apartment unless a major fire is sweeping through the high rise.

That is because residential buildings seven stories and above in New York City are constructed with fireproof material. So if there is a fire you should stay in your apartment unless the fire in is in your apartment.

If you live in an older tenement-style building with fire escapes you should try to leave any apartment during a fire because the building itself will burn and not just the contents of an apartment.

Fire safety experts say that if a fire breaks out in any building you should touch the door to see if it's hot before opening and put wet towels on the floor is smoke is seeping in. But first you should call the FDNY to say where you are and stay there, said Prof. Glenn Corbett of John Jay College. Firefighters will come get you when safe.

Unless you have fire sprinklers in each room, the fire department recommends smoke detectors and staying put unless the fire is right next to you.

Daniel McClung lived on the 38th floor. Families living on the 20th floor, the same floor as this fire, stayed in their apartment after calling 911 and survived unscathed.

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