1 Dead in Blaze at Trump Tower

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2018 2:21 AM CDT
1 Dead in Blaze at Trump Tower
Fire damage is seen on a side of Trump Tower in New York, Saturday, April 7, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

A raging fire that tore through a 50th-floor apartment at Trump Tower killed a man inside and sent flames and thick, black smoke pouring from windows of the president's namesake skyscraper. New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the cause of Saturday's blaze is not yet known but the apartment was "virtually entirely on fire" when firefighters arrived after 5:30pm. "It was a very difficult fire, as you can imagine," Nigro said. "The apartment is quite large." Todd Brassner, 67, was taken to a hospital and died a short time later, the NYPD said. Property records obtained by the AP indicate Brassner was an art dealer who purchased his 50th-floor unit in 1996. Six firefighters suffered minor injuries, reports CNN. Shortly after news of the fire broke, Trump tweeted: "Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!"

Asked if that assessment was accurate, Nigro said, "It's a well-built building. The upper floors, the residence floors, are not sprinklered." Fire sprinklers were not required in New York City high-rises when Trump Tower was completed in 1983. Subsequent updates to the building code required commercial skyscrapers to install the sprinklers retroactively, but owners of older residential high-rises are not required to install sprinklers unless the building undergoes major renovations. Nigro noted no member of the Trump family was in the 664-foot tower. Lalitha Masson, a 76-year-old resident, told the New York Times that she did not receive any announcement about leaving, and that when she called the front desk no one answered. "I thought we were finished," said Masson. "I called my oldest son and said goodbye to him because the way it looked everything was falling out of the window, and it reminded me of 9/11."

(More Trump Tower stories.)

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