A fire at Donald Trump’s New York skyscraper has killed one man and left four firefighters injured.
Todd Brassner, 67, who was in an apartment on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan, died in hospital after the unit was engulfed by the blaze. It had no sprinklers.
Mr Brassner, an art dealer, was a friend of the late artist Andy Warhol and is mentioned several times in the legendary New Yorker’s 1989 autobiography The Andy Warhol Diaries.
Flames and thick black smoke were seen coming from windows of the building, where the president has a residence, on Saturday evening.
At its peak, flames raged from the windows as crumbling pieces of ashen materials could be seen falling from the glass skyscraper onto the pavement below.
Some 200 firefighters and members of the emergency services rushed to the scene on Fifth Avenue while the New York Police Department closed surrounding roads. The fire broke out shortly before 6pm local time, filling floors of the 58-storey building with a “considerable” amount of smoke, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said.
President Donald Trump has a home and an office in the building. But Mr Trump, First Lady Melania and their son Barron were in Washington DC.
Around 45 minutes later – before the fatality had been announced – Mr Trump took to Twitter to praise firefighters for their response, saying they had extinguished the blaze.
The billionaire, who made his fortune in property, also attributed the construction of his eponymous tower to the fire’s limited spread.
“Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. Thank you!” he tweeted.
FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro said four firefighters had suffered “non-life-threatening injuries” in the blaze, the cause of which is not yet known.
He warned then that the situation was “still not considered to be under control” due to “a considerable amount of smoke” in the building.
Mr Nigro added: “We found fire on the 50th floor of the building.
“The apartment was entirely on fire.
“Members pushed in heroically, they were knocking down the fire and found one occupant of the apartment who is in critical condition.
“This was a very difficult fire. As you can imagine, the apartment is quite large, we are 50 storeys up. We had many floors to search, and stairways.”
He said that the apartment had no sprinklers. There were no evacuations, although some residents left on their own, Mr Nigro said.
Owners of older residential high-rises such as Trump Tower are not required to install sprinklers unless the building undergoes major renovation.
As well as his luxury residence, Trump Tower contains offices of the Trump family business.
His son Eric Trump tweeted: “Thank you to the amazing men and women of the NYFD who extinguished a fire in a residential apartment at @TrumpTower. The @FDNY and @NYPD are truly some of the most incredible people anywhere!”
The 35-year-old mixed-use skyscraper is a jewel in the Trump Organisation’s real estate portfolio that includes high-end properties, hotels and golf courses.