ABC News New York reports:
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire at Trump Tower in Midtown that left one man dead. The four-alarm fire broke out on the 50th floor just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The fire was placed under control approximately two hours later. Firefighters pulled Todd Brassner, 67, from the 50th floor of the building. He was unconscious and unresponsive. He later died at the hospital.
Investigators say there was no 911 call from inside the apartment. Instead they received an automatic notification that there was a fire inside. Because there are no sprinklers on the upper floors of Trump Tower, authorities said the fire spread quickly. 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.
CBS News New York reports:
According to The New York Times, Mr. Trump was one of the developers in the late 1990s who lobbied against sprinklers in buildings. He then recanted once the legislation passed with grandfathering provisions that meant existing buildings did not need to install them, saying that he understood they made residents “feel safer.” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said on Saturday that there is extra fire protection at Trump Tower when Mr. Trump is there.
Then-New York city mayor and now staunch Trump ally Rudy Giuliani signed the bill requiring sprinklers into force on March 24, 1999, having opposed it when it was first proposed in 1997. The legislation was spurred on by a major fire in a so-called “fireproof” apartment block with no sprinklers on New York’s Upper West Side the previous December, and another in a Brooklyn housing project the same month in which hallway sprinklers failed.
From a 1999 New York Post report:
Trump has called a dozen council members to lobby against sprinklers, including Speaker Peter Vallone. He has also donated $5,000 to retire Vallone’s campaign debt, and personally telephoned committee chairman Archie Spigner, and Walter McCaffery, the sponsor of the bill. Trump says he can’t afford to install sprinklers in all his buildings. Trump is now putting up a 90-story high rise at 875 U.N. Plaza that has no sprinklers in the building plans the city has approved.