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Fatal high-rise fire may have started with power strip, says FDNY

The deadly fire at a West Side luxury condo high-rise on Sunday was probably caused by an overloaded, defective or overused power strip, the FDNY said Monday.

The blaze, sparked in a 20th-floor unit, is thought to have begun when the occupant was not home, an FDNY spokesman said.

Newlywed Daniel McClung, 27, who lived on the 38th floor, apparently died of smoke inhalation as he tried to flee down a smoke-filled stairwell. Autopsy results were pending. His husband, producer and writer Michael Cohen, 32, was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition.

Residents from about 25 units in the 41-story building remain displaced, said Red Cross spokesman Michael de Vulpillieres.

"The whole building smells like smoke," said Mike Detres, 57, a psychologist who returned to his 28th-floor apartment Monday. "It pervades everything."

An FDNY spokesman said residents in fireproof high-rises who aren't directly affected should remain in place, call 911, "explain your whereabouts and condition, and await further guidance: We take note of that and send help to you."

Residents should talk to their management companies to find out if their building is considered fireproof and how to best improve their chances of surviving a fire, the spokesman added.

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