Trump Tower fire: One person hospitalised after blaze breaks out at President's New York address

Firefighters rush to battle blaze

Clark Mindock
New York
,Harriet Agerholm
Monday 08 January 2018 14:43 GMT
Trump Tower fire: Fire fighters respond to blaze in midtown Manhattan

Three people have sustained non-life threatening injuries after a fire was reported in Trump Tower, the New York residence of President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump was in Washington at the time of the fire, which was quickly extinguished.

Footage of the incident showed around a dozen firefighters on the roof of the tower, as white smoke billowed from one corner of the top of the building.

A blaze was reported from the top floor of the building at 7am local time, the New York Fire Department said. Secret Service agents had first noticed the fire, and had informed building management about the issue.

About 84 firefighters attended the scene and brought the blaze under control in about an hour, the fire service said. A spokesman with the Fire Department of New York called it a “quick, easy, and routine” situation.

“The fire wasn’t in the building, it was on top of the building, the fire department wrote on Twitter. “We had flames coming out of the vents, no smoke condition or fire was on the inside.”

Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said on Twitter that it was a small electrical fire in the cooling tower on the building’s roof.

“The New York Fire Department was here within minutes and did an incredible job,” he said. “The men and women of the #FDNY are true heroes and deserve our most sincere thanks and praise!”

The tower houses businesses and luxury apartments, including Mr Trump’s penthouse, which reportedly occupies the top three floors. No evacuations were reported in the building

Just hours after the fire was reported, the streets below had calmed down, and just one fire truck remained nearby with its siren lights still spinning. Tourists passed by in the frigid New York weather, snapping photos of the building, unaware that a plume of smoke could have been seen earlier in the day. Some said that they had stumbled across the shining, black tower as they walked around Midtown Manhattan, but didn’t initially intend on visiting the famed metropolitan home.

“No, no, no,” Hilda Bandiera, who was visiting New York with her husband, Alfred, from Australia, said when asked if she had ventured down Fifth Avenue specifically to see Mr Trump’s building. “We’re not adding to his economy.”

The area around the tower had a notably smaller security footprint than is seen when members of the first family are staying at the skyscraper. Metal barricades remained at the site, their bases covered in snow, but foot traffic hardly warranted even that. Traffic on Fifth Avenue – which was a tangled mess during the presidential transition period last year, and while First Lady Melania Trump still lived at the tower – appeared to run smoothly, even with the lingering presence of the New York Fire Department.

Matt Mahoney, a construction worker in the area, stood catty-cornered from the tower with a cigarette, and recalled the commotion of the morning. Mr Mahoney said he lives in Staten Island -- one of the few hotspots of Trump supporters in New York City – and that there’s generally congestion near the tower now that Mr Trump is president. Fire or no, there’s always a little bit more congestion than there was before.

As for Mr Trump, who Mr Mahoney says he voted for, the fiery rhetoric of the campaign - fuelled by frequent tweets and big promises – hasn’t cooled down to something more statesman like, as Mr Mahoney said he’d like to see.

“The way he acts, the tweets... He’s a little bit of a loose cannon than you’d like,” Mr Mahoney said, indicating that it has been an accumulation of questionable behaviour over the past year that has soured him a bit on Mr Trump.

“Overall, the conduct has been non-presidential,” Mr Mahoney said. But, there’s still time for the President to contain the blaze that has been his presidency, he said.

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