World Fire at Trump Tower Kills One, Police Say

NEW YORK — A 67-year-old man died after being injured in a fire at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan on Saturday, the police said.

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Fire at Trump Tower Kills One, Police Say play

Fire at Trump Tower Kills One, Police Say

(NY Times)
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The man was in an apartment on the 50th floor at the time of the fire, which was reported around 5:30 p.m., the police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not immediately released.

Four firefighters suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said at a news conference.

He said the apartment, a large unit that was heavily furnished, was “virtually entirely on fire.” Video footage showed flames bursting through broken windows.

Neither President Donald Trump nor his family was in the building, a Fifth Avenue skyscraper that is the calling card of his real estate business.

The commissioner said firefighters went with the Secret Service to inspect the president’s residence. While the rest of the building had a “considerable amount of smoke,” it was not immediately clear if it reached Trump’s unit, he said.

More than 200 firefighters responded to the fire, the cause of which was unknown, the commissioner said.

Trump, who was in Washington at the time, said on Twitter that the tower’s construction helped confine the fire.

The commissioner said the upper floors that are home to residences do not have fire sprinklers. “It’s a well-built building,” he said. “The building sure stood up quite well.”

While the building is subject around the clock to extra security by law enforcement, extra fire protection happens only when the president is there, Nigro said.

Authorities restricted passers-by from the area directly in front of the tower, keeping them out of the street and on the sidewalk on the opposite side of Fifth Avenue.

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

“When I saw the television, I thought we were finished,” said Masson, who lives on the 36th floor with her husband, Narinder, who is 79 and has Parkinson’s disease. “I called my oldest son and said goodbye to him because the way it looked everything was falling out of the window, and it reminded me of 9/11.”

She said that she did not get any announcement about leaving and that when she called the front desk no one answered.

Dennis Shields, who said he lived on the 42nd floor, described the scene.

“You could smell the smoke, and you could hear things falling like through the vents,” he said. “It just smelled like sulfur.”

He said there were no orders to evacuate but he received a text message from Trump’s lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.

Shields, who said he grew up with Cohen, continued: “He said, ‘Are you in the building?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘You better get out ASAP.’ That’s how I knew to get out, otherwise I’d still be in there.”

In January, a small electrical fire broke out near the top of the building. Officials at the time indicated it was in the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. A firefighter was hurt by falling debris, and two civilians were injured.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

LOUIS LUCERO II and JACLYN PEISER © 2018 The New York Times

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