The Slatest

Trump Tower Board Seeks $90,000 Payment From Estate of Man Who Died in April Fire

On the side of Trump Tower, two windows are burnt and broken.
Broken and burned windows indicate where a fire broke out on the 50th floor of Trump Tower on April 7 in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

On April 7, a unit on the 50th floor of the Trump Tower in New York City caught fire, killing 67-year-old Todd Brassner, an art collector who lived with hundreds of vintage instruments.

The electrical fire was later determined to have been caused by an overloaded electrical board, and some have speculated that the lack of sprinklers in the apartment contributed to Brassner’s death. In the 1990s, Donald Trump had lobbied against installing sprinklers after two fires in New York City high-rises killed a number of people in 1998, the Washington Post reported, helping convince city officials to abandon a proposal that would have required the installation of sprinklers in older buildings.

Now, according to the Post, Trump Tower’s residential board is suing the man’s estate for $90,000 in unpaid fees. The board, with the backing of a Trump Organization attorney, is suing for more than $64,000 in unpaid common charges, which are condo fees that can include maintenance and utilities, with an additional judgment of at least $25,000. Some of those unpaid fees include those that stacked up after Brassner died.

Brassner had lived in Trump Tower since 1996 but came to struggle to keep up with condo payments. The building’s residential board filed multiple liens against him between 2003 and 2013 for unpaid common charges, and he filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on common charges in 2015. Friends told the Times after his death that Brassner, in declining health, had wanted to sell his $2.5 million apartment but could not find a buyer after Trump’s election brought heavy security to the Fifth Avenue building.

Trump stayed quiet after Brassner’s death, instead tweeting in April: “Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”