The firethat left Todd Brassner, 67, dead and six firemen injured was the second fire in the building in 2018 – built President Trump's Manhattan skyscraper that opened in 1984, but has no sprinklers on its residential floors. FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro said Saturday that Trump Tower's upper residential floors do not have sprinklers, a measure required in new buildings since 1999, but that President Trump, then a private citizen and real estate developer, pushed to try to avoid.
The city of New York in 1999 became the last big city in the nation to require sprinklers, according to the New York Daily News. Under the 1999 legislation, previously constructed buildings should only have sprinklers if they were renovated.
According to The New York Times, Trump was one of the developers in the late 1990s who pressed against sprinklers in buildings. Then he retracted once the legislation passed with protective provisions that meant that existing buildings did not need to install them, saying he understood that they made residents "feel more secure". Commissioner Nigro said Saturday that there is extra fire protection at Trump Tower when Mr. Trump is there.
Then the mayor of the city of New York and now firm ally of Trump Rudy Giuliani signed the bill requiring sprinklers in effect on March 24, 1999, and opposed when it was first proposed in 1997. legislation was prompted by a major fire in a so-called "fireproof" apartment block without sprinklers on New York's Upper West Side the previous December, and another on a housing project in Brooklyn the same month that the sprinklers of the hallway failed. The survivors wanted all the buildings to have sprinklers, but the legislation that was approved was not retrospective, to the delight of the current owners who cited the cost as an important reason not to be forced to modernize their buildings. At the time the legislation was being discussed, Mr. Trump had just begun construction on a 72-story tower near the United Nations, and subsequently said he would install sprinklers there at a cost of $ 3 million.
Saturday's fire is the second fire in Mr. Trump's 5th Avenue building this year: two civilians suffered minor injuries and one firefighter was injured by debris in a fire on January 8. Theat the top of the building was an electrical fire, Mr. Trump's son, Eric, said at the time. Eric Trump said the fire had been in a cooling tower.
Nigro told a press conference that the cause of Saturday's fire is not yet clear.
Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after the fire broke out that his building is "well-built." Nigro agreed at the press conference that it is a "well-constructed building".
"The building certainly stood up pretty well," said Nigro. There is considerable damage from smoke on the upper floors. Nigro said the units reviewed Mr. Trump's residence on the upper floors.
Neither Mr. Trump nor any of his family were in the building at the time of the fire. Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, were at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC on Saturday night. Eric Trump lives in the nearby Trump Parc building, which is located in Central Park South.
Although it is not clear how many fires have occurred in the building since it opened in 1984, a severe fire in 1982 delayed construction in two months, according to amNewYork.
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