Trump battled fire-sprinkler laws for city high-rises in the 90s

Sheila Mcguire
April 10, 2018

President Donald Trump's time as a real estate developer who lobbied against installing sprinklers in NYC buildings was called into question on Sunday, April 8, a day after a fire at New York City's Trump Tower left one man dead and six fireman injured.

The fire is the second in the building in months, following a fire in the tower's cooling system in January injuring two. The injured man, art dealer Todd Brassner, 67, later died. Because there are no sprinklers on the upper floors of Trump Tower, authorities said the fire spread quickly. Nearly two decades ago, Trump had fiercely rallied against a measure to install sprinklers in high-rise buildings.

Fire at Trump Tower is out. "This is a very hard fire, as you can imagine".

News reports out of NY say one person died, and several firefighters were injured, in a high-rise fire on Saturday in the Trump Tower on a floor that was classified as residential/apartment.

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Firefighters on the scene of a fire at Trump Tower in New York City, April 7, 2018. He said it had been "very confined" as the tower is a "well-built building".

Lalitha Masson, a 76-year-old resident, called it "a very, very terrifying experience".

Some fire-safety advocates pushed for a requirement that older apartment buildings be retrofitted with sprinklers when New York City passed a law requiring them in new residential highrises in 1999, but officials in the administration of then-mayor Rudy Giuliani said that would be too expensive.

Officials have not disclosed the cause of the blaze.

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After the bill's passage, Trump reversed course, saying he had come to support the law because sprinklers make tenants feel safer, and boasting that he would be spending $3 million to install sprinklers in units at Trump World Tower, a 72-story high-rise Trump had begun constructing just before the law's passage.

The fire department initially said that that the blaze was a three-alarm fire, but later updated it to a four-alarm.

President Donald Trump has an office and home at the 58-story building, but was in Washington at the time.

Son Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, offered similar sentiments to his father, and Don Jr.

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