The Trump Tower apartment where a deadly fire started Saturday had no working smoke alarm, a New York City Fire Department source familiar with the investigation said — which means there was no alarm sounding in the unit when firefighters arrived.
The fire on the 50th floor of the New York City highrise left one man dead and six firefighters injured, the FDNY said. The victim was identified as Todd Brassner, 67.
The FDNY was notified of the fire by a building-wide alarm system in Trump Tower, the source said. This system alerted the fire department to the location of the fire, including the floor of the blaze. Such alarm systems are common, and they are not audible in the entire building to prevent people from evacuating all at once and clogging staircases for firefighters.
The fire was contained to the 50th floor of the apartment building, which is located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The President resides in the penthouse when he’s in New York City. No members of the Trump family were in the tower during the fire, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
The upper-level residential floors of the 58-story building are not equipped with fire sprinklers, Nigro said.
Separately, NYC Department of Buildings Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Rudansky said that records indicate that there have been no permit applications for sprinkler installation in the penthouse level of Trump Tower, where Trump resides.
When the President is in the building, an “alarm assignment team” is present, the FDNY source said. It includes FDNY members assigned to the building that would investigate any report of fire to dispatch.
Records and permits issued in October 1999 indicate that Trump World Plaza, another Trump property located across from the United Nations, has an automatic sprinkler system. Trump was quoted by the New York Times in 1999 saying sprinklers would be installed in the Trump World Plaza building after new legislation was passed in NYC requiring new residential construction over four dwellings to have sprinklers installed.
Brassner’s apartment was valued at $2.5 million, according to bankruptcy documents from 2015. Brassner had an extensive collection of prized works of art, including a portrait of himself by Andy Warhol, as well as hundreds of guitars and ukeleles, according to the bankruptcy documents.
Brassner was unconscious and unresponsive when firefighters pulled him out, the NYPD said. He died in the hospital. Six firefighters suffered injuries that are not life threatening, Conroy said.
Before news of the death, President Donald Trump congratulated firefighters and tweeted that the fire was out and “very confined” in the “well built building.”
The fire at Trump Tower comes three months after a minor fire broke out in a cooling tower on the roof of the building, according to CNN affiliate WCBS-TV. Two people were injured in the fire, which officials said may have been caused by electrical heaters inside the cooling tower.