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Malfunctioning Power Strip to Blame for High-Rise Fire That Killed Gay NYC Man


This morning we reported on a tragic high-rise fire over the weekend in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood which took the life of Daniel McClung (above left) and critically injured his husband Michael Todd Cohen.

City fire marshalls now report that the fire, which broke out on the 20th floor, was caused by a malfunctioning power strip, possibly connected to a Christmas tree.

Gay Man Killed, Husband Critically Injured in Manhattan High-Rise Fire: VIDEO


A tragic high-rise fire at 500 W. 43rd street in Hell's Kitchen on Sunday claimed the life of a recently-married gay man and critically injured his husband as they tried to escape, NBC New York reports:

The men, 27-year-old Daniel McClung and 32-year-old Michael Todd Cohen, were found in a stairwell near the 31st floor of The Strand condominium suffering from smoke inhalation and burns after the three-alarm fire erupted more than 10 stories below at the building on West 43rd Street, the FDNY said.

McClung died and Cohen is in stable condition at a hospital. The couple married in July, neighbors told NBC 4 New York.

More than 200 firefighters responded to put out the blaze, which began in a hallway of the 20th floor, according to the FDNY.

Watch the NBC News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Our thoughts go out to the couple's family and friends and everyone affected by this fire.

Continue reading "Gay Man Killed, Husband Critically Injured in Manhattan High-Rise Fire: VIDEO" »

Openly Gay New York Philanthropist Robert W. Wilson Commits Suicide

You may have heard a snippet this week about Robert W. Wilson, a millionaire philanthropist who recently committed suicide by jumping from the 16th floor of his New York apartment. But some of the news stories covering his death have neglected to mention that he was gay.

RobertThough the 87-year-old founder of the Wilson & Associates hedge fund married a woman during his lifetime, he divorced her over four decades ago and had no children.

According to his friends, Wilson had thought about committing suicide for a long time due to his declining health — he had had a stroke in June, another one about a month before his death, and even went so far as to wonder aloud about killing himself at his 87th birthday party in November. The New York Post reports that a friend suggested that he jump into the courtyard of his apartment — a "beloved, art-filled, $20  million-plus apartment overlooking Central Park" that he considered "his refuge from a sometimes unfriendly city" — so that he wouldn't land on anyone. He apparently took her advice.

His brief suicide note read: “I had a rewarding life. Thank you and goodbye to all my friends. Please make sure you cancel all my plans. Tell everyone what I did. I’m not ashamed of killing myself. Sell all my stuff." The New York Times said that the note concluded with "a list of appointments that would have to be canceled.”

Over his lifetime, the self-described atheist gave hundreds of millions to environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund the Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Monuments Fund as well as to the American Civil Liberties Union and Catholic schools which he considered "exceptionally good" and more efficient than public schools. He made a majority of his philanthropic contributions on the condition that they be used to match other's donations in order to help raise more money.

He also reportedly used to split cab fares and dinner checks with his wealthy friends and neighbors, and regularly took the subway, despite his millions.

By the time of his death Wilson had given a majority of his fortune to charity.

Pastor Ken Hutcherson Dies

Pastor Ken Hutcherson, Washington state's lead crusader against same-sex marriage and former Seattle Seahawk, has died, Antioch Bible Church reports:

HutchersonAntioch Bible Church sadly announces that shortly before noon today our Senior Pastor Dr. Ken Hutcherson was ushered into the presence of the Lord. Please pray for comfort and peace for the family. The family asked that you give them some privacy at this time. Please no phone calls or visit.

Hutcherson battled prostate cancer for more than a decade, the Seattle Times reports:

His slogan was “Black and White in a Gray World.” Colleagues said that summed up both his conviction that Christians from all ethnicities, social and economic backgrounds should feel comfortable worshiping together and his belief that God’s word is immutable and unchanging.

His supporters described him as a funny and happy person — remaining jovial even through prostate cancer — who had been mischaracterized as a hate-filled preacher.

His detractors, however, mostly in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community,  considered him a bully who used religion to campaign against the rights of gays to marry.

'Fast and Furious' Franchise Posts Emotional Tribute to Paul Walker: VIDEO


The Fast and Furious franchise celebrates the life of actor Paul Walker in an emotional new video they posted online late yesterday set to Diddy and Skylar Grey's "Coming Home".

Walker and his friend Roger Rodas died in a fiery crash following a charity show in Santa Clarita, California. Walker was the passenger in the car, a Porsche Carrera GT. An autopsy confirmed that Walker died from "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries". Toxicology results are still pending.

Fast and Furious 7 shooting has been put on hold for an unspecified period.

Watch the touching tribute, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Fast and Furious' Franchise Posts Emotional Tribute to Paul Walker: VIDEO" »

Actor Paul Walker Dies in Car Crash

Paul_walkerActor Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) has died in a car accident, TMZ is reporting:

The accident happened in Santa Clarita -- north of Los Angeles -- and according to multiple sources connected to Paul ... the actor was in a Porsche when the driver somehow lost control and slammed into a post or a tree ... and then the car burst into flames.

Several of our sources -- some who are still at the scene of the accident -- tell us Paul and another person in the car were killed. Law enforcement is still on the scene, and we're told the L.A. County Coroner's Office is on the way.

TMZ, which published a photo of a crash scene, reports that it's unknown at this point what caused the accident.

ABC News tweets: "@ABC News confirms "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker has died at the age of 40"

Variety has also confirmed the sad news.

Paul Walker's official Facebook page posted this message:

It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. - #TeamPW


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