Residential buildings more than six stories tall would be required to have emergency communication systems in stairwells, according to legislation proposed Monday by freshman City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) in response to a deadly Hell's Kitchen blaze earlier this month.
"The tragic death at The Strand was entirely preventable," Mr. Johnson said in a statement following a City Hall news conference, referring to the Jan. 5 inferno on the 20th floor of 500 W. 43rd St., at the corner of 10th Avenue.
When 27-year old Daniel McClung and his 32-year old husband Michael Cohen attempted to evacuate the building via an emergency stairwell, smoke from the fire billowed into their path, killing Mr. McClung and critically injuring Mr. Cohen.
The legislation would create a way for first responders and building managers to advise residents on the safest course of action during an emergency. In this case, the system might have been used to alert Messrs. McClung and Cohen to take another route or stay in their home.