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Petition Calls For New 'Stay or Go' Fire Safety Law Following NYC High-Rise Fire

Petition Calls For New 'Stay or Go' Fire Safety Law Following NYC High-Rise Fire
Michael & Daniel on their wedding day, July 13, 2013.
Photo by Javier Morgado.

Following the death of 27-year-old playwright Daniel McClung in Sunday's high-rise fire in New York City, a grassroots effort is underway by friends of Daniel and his husband Michael Todd Cohen, who remains seriously injured following the fire.

Their Change.org petition calls on the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to introduce and sign a bill for the "Stay or Go" Fire Safety Law, which would require all residential high-rise buildings in New York City to install a public address system in emergency stairwells to prevent a tragedy like the one that killed Daniel and critically injured Michael on Sunday. The petition has already amassed more than 1,000 signatures since it launched at noon today.

Aside from the petition, nearly 1,300 individuals have shown their support by donating to the medical fund set up for Michael. The fund has raised more than $50,000 in just days. To donate, click here: http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/for-michael-todd-cohen. Alternatively, donations can be made to the Northeast Animal Shelter in honor of Michael's husband, Daniel, and their two dogs, Schooner and Georgia, who died in the fire.

Yesterday, Michael's friends and family released a statement of gratitude, saying: "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. 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."

Daniel's family has not finalized funeral services for their son, but details will be announced shortly. Michael remains hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Burn Center.

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