Man Dead in Fire at Trump Tower

Fire crews responded to a blaze on the 50th floor of the skyscraper Saturday evening

By Angie Wang and Tulika Bose

Updated, 11:45 p.m. — A 67-year-old man died in a blaze that broke out at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan Saturday evening, police said.

FDNY received a call about a fire on the 50th floor of the residential and commercial building at about 6 p.m. Todd Brassner was found unconscious and taken to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital, where he was declared dead.

Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said the man’s apartment was almost entirely engulfed in flames. About 200 firefighters and emergency medical personnel responded to the fire, the cause of which is still unknown.

Several firetrucks were parked in front of Trump Tower. (Tulika Bose/NYCityLens)

At least four firefighters sustained minor injuries. President Trump was not in the building at the time of the fire.

Pedestrians gathered at the base of the building to film the blaze, and videos on social media showed flames and smoke billowing out of the windows.

President Donald Trump tweeted his thanks to crews at 6:40 p.m. and announced the fire had been extinguished, but responders remained on the scene.

Secret service agents paced around the building at about 8 p.m. while a huddle of firefighters stood in the crosswalk, arms folded. More piled out of waiting emergency vehicles. Police cordoned off sidewalks as curious onlookers gaped at the scene—though the flames had been extinguished, lights from emergency vehicles flooded the streets.

Chad Cox, 20, said he saw smoke coming from the 50th floor when he arrived around 6:30 p.m. Cox, a student at Schenectady Community College, added that the fire had been quickly contained by first responders, more of whom arrived throughout the evening as alarms continued to ring.

Tony Arturi, a 62-year-old who works for the U.S. Postal Service, said he was on his daily 6-mile walk when he saw an notification about the fire on his cell phone.

“I’ve seen some emergencies, but this is by far the biggest,” Arturi said.

Tony Arturi stopped by Trump Tower after the blaze. (Tulika Bose/NYCityLens)

Almost exactly three months ago, a small electrical fire erupted at the skyscraper, injuring a firefighter and two civilians. According to an FDNY tweet, the January incident occurred in the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system on the roof of the building.

Firefighters gather on the crosswalk after the blaze was extinguished. (Tulika Bose/NYCityLens)

Check back for updates as the story develops. 

Cecilia Butini, Taylor Romine and Faith Woodard contributed to this story.

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