The man who died in a Trump Tower fire tried to sell his $2.5 million apartment after Trump won the election — but couldn’t

First responders outside of Trump Tower on Saturday, where an apartment caught fire.

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First responders outside of Trump Tower on Saturday, where an apartment caught fire.
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Amr Alfiky/Reuters

  • Todd Brassner died in a fire at his Trump Tower apartment on Saturday.
  • He tried to sell the apartment after Donald Trump won the 2016 election but was unsuccessful, The New York Times reported.

The man who died in a Trump Tower fire on Saturday sought to sell his apartment for two years but was unsuccessful, The New York Times reported.

Todd Brassner, a 67-year-old art dealer who lived in an apartment on the 50th floor that he estimated to be worth $2.5 million three years ago, sought to sell it following the 2016 presidential election, which led to a robust and constant security presence in the building.

“It haunts me,” Stephen Dwire, who had been friends with Brassner for more than 50 years, told The Times. “He said, ‘This is getting untenable.’ It was like living in an armed camp. But when people heard it was a Trump building, he couldn’t give it away.”

The cause of the fire, which injured four firefighters, had not determined as of Sunday, and officials who spoke to The Times declined to comment on damage to Brassner’s holdings.

“We send our prayers and deepest condolences to Mr. Brassner’s family and loved ones,” a Trump Organization spokeswoman told The Times.

The Times report says Brassner’s apartment did not have sprinklers, which were not required.

Trump Tower was built in the early 1980s, but when a 1999 law required both new and heavily renovated residential buildings in New York City to include sprinklers, President Donald Trump and other major real-estate developers fought it, arguing that the systems were not needed and would increase the price of units, the newspaper reported.

According to The Times, Brassner lived alone with a $3 million collection that included 100 vintage guitars, 40 amplifiers, and artwork by several well-known artists – and even a portrait by Andy Warhol.

The art collector had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and was in bad health, friends who spoke to the newspaper said.

Trump tweeted about the fire on Saturday.

“Fire at Trump Tower is out,” he wrote. “Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”