A raging fire tore through a 50th-floor apartment at Trump Tower yesterday afternoon. It left one man dead inside and sent flames along with thick, black smoke pouring from windows of the president’s namesake skyscraper.
The New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro confirmed that the cause of Saturday’s fire is unknown. Although he was able to confirm that when firefighters arrived at the scene at 5:30 p.m. the entire apartment was in flames and that the blaze was extremely difficult to put because the apartment building was extremely large.
New York Police said 67-year-old Todd Brassner who was in the apartment unconscious, where he was quickly taken to Mt. Sinai-West Hospital and tragically died a short time later. Property records later obtained by The Associated Press indicate Brassner was an art dealer who had purchased his 50th-floor unit back in 1996.
FDNY has confirmed that four firefighters were injured in the fire. All four were taken to local area hospitals with what was described as minor injuries.
An investigation into this fire is ongoing. And this is what we know about the victim via View’s Headlines:
“In the meantime, the man who died in the Trump Tower fire has been identified as 67-year-old Todd Brassner, an art dealer who purchased his 50th-floor unit in 1996. Reports suggest that the victim’s name appears multiple times in “The Andy Warhol Diaries,” the dictated autobiography of the famed artist that was published two years after his death at age 58 in 1987.
The Daily News report while providing further details says that Warhol in the book mentions having lunch with Brassner in 1976, and recounts a conversation he had with Brassner about having seen Muhammad Ali.
The man was also once linked to the painter Andy Warhol and he was even mentioned in “The Andy Warhol Diaries.”
He even sold a series of Warhol’s prints, which included a 1967 portrait that sold for $601k back in 2007. The collection is even said to have included a 1978 Marilyn Monroe print by the famous artist inscribed “to Todd.”
But what’s really odd about this case is that the authorities, during the initial investigation uncovered that Brasner experienced serious financial difficulties in 2015.
A friend confirmed that Brassner was into fine dining and the good life which led to hard times & constant money troubles.
This led to Brassner filing for bankruptcy in 2015.
The total damage to the apartment is said to top $2.5 million dollars.
Here is more on this fire via CBS News:
“The man killed in a blaze at New York City’s Trump Tower was an art collector who spent time with Andy Warhol, but fell on hard financial times in recent years and went through bankruptcy proceedings. Todd Brassner, 67, died on Saturday at a hospital after a fire tore through his 50th-floor apartment in the high-rise, which was constructed at a time when building codes did not require the residential section to have sprinklers.
The city’s Department of Buildings said Sunday the building did have working hard-wired smoke detectors, and that the fire department was first notified of the blaze by the detectors in the building’s heating and ventilation system. A cause had not yet been determined.
Brassner, who records show bought his unit in 1996, is mentioned several times in Warhol’s posthumously published diaries, with references including lunch dates and shared taxis. The artist signed and dedicated at least one print to him.
But in recent years, Brassner came upon money difficulties. According to documents, his family had stopped helping him pursue buying and selling art at the end of 2014, and in the last few years he had been “plagued with debilitating medical problems that have made it difficult for him to function.”
His brother, Howard Brassner, owns a gallery named Art Link International in Lake Worth, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports, citing state records.
“At the moment, the family would like to have some privacy,” a worker who answered the gallery’s phone told the newspaper. “They will issue a statement once everyone knows. Not everyone knows right now.”
The fire sent thick, black smoke pouring from the windows of the skyscraper that bears the president’s name.
New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the apartment was “virtually entirely on fire” when firefighters arrived.
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.
President Trump was among the developers who spoke out against the retrofitting as expensive and unnecessary. No member of the Trump family was in the 664-foot tower on Saturday.
Mr. Trump’s family has an apartment on the top floors of the 58-story building, but he has spent little time in New York since taking office. The headquarters of the Trump Organization is on the 26th floor.
Some fire-safety advocates pushed for a requirement that older apartment buildings be retrofitted with sprinklers when New York City passed a law requiring them in new residential high-rises in 1999, but officials in the administration of then-mayor Rudy Giuliani said that would be too expensive.”