Trump Lobbied Against Sprinklers in 1999, Claiming He Couldn’t Afford Them

In the wake of a fire at Trump Tower that left one man dead, a New York Post article from January 1999 — revealing President Trump once lobbied against sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings — has resurfaced.

New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro divulged Saturday that there were no sprinklers on the top floors of the 58-story Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Todd Brassner, the man who lost his life in the blaze, lived on the 50th floor.

Nearly 20 years ago, Trump pushed back against proposed regulations to require sprinkler systems in residential apartment buildings claiming he couldn’t “afford to install sprinklers in all his buildings.”

His efforts included calling a dozen city council members and donating $5,000 to wipe out the campaign debt of then-New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr.

The reaction of a New York City resident who survived a deadly fire (in a building not owned by Trump) is recorded in the ​New York Post article. “I would inform Trump there must be sprinklers in every apartment and hallway,” Jerome Rose is reported to have said when asked to address Trump.

“I would tell him if there has been a sprinkler in the Culkin apartment, the fire would have been out in 30 seconds, and nobody would have died. I will gladly pay a small rent increase to have sprinklers.”

Rose is quoted later on in the article as saying, “I want the Donald Trumps to see what death brings. And how he might feel if it were his mother, his wife, his child. What price would they be worth? How many millions would he spend to bring them back?”

The president later changed his views on the sprinkler issue. According to a March 1999 ​New York Times report, Trump spent $3 million to install sprinklers “in all 350 units of Trump World Tower.”