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Trump Aggressively Fought Sprinkler System Law That Could Have Saved Man in Trump Tower Fire

While working as a powerful real estate developer in the 1990s, the president claimed he couldn't afford to install sprinkler systems in his high-rise apartment buildings

When working as a real estate developer in New York in the 1990s, President Donald Trump lobbied against a bill that would require all high-rise residential apartments to have sprinklers installed. On Saturday, one person was killed in a fire at Trump Tower. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

Though President Donald Trump has spent his career boasting of his wealth, he claimed in the 1990s that outfitting apartments in his residential high-rise buildings with sprinkler systems would be too expensive—and lobbied against regulations that may have been able to save the life of a man who was killed in a fire at Trump Tower on Saturday.

One person was killed and six firefighters were injured in the apartment fire that started on the 50th floor of the luxury building in New York. The apartment did not have a sprinkler system.

As a powerful real estate developer, Trump aggressively fought against a regulation that would have required all New York City high-rise residential buildings to have sprinklers installed. Although he claimed in 2000 to be worth $5 billion and others estimated he held about $1.6 billion, the New York Post reported in 1999 that Trump felt he couldn't afford to follow the safety measure.  

According to the Huffington Post, he donated funds to the City Council speaker and personally called a dozen council members to convince them to vote against the rule.

When a sprinkler law was eventually passed, Trump was exempted from having to follow it at Trump Tower because the rule only stipulated that high-rises built after 1999 had to have sprinklers installed.

After the fire, the president tweeted that Trump Tower was "well-built" and made no mention of the deceased man.

Critics on social media slammed Trump's refusal to take safety precautions in his buildings.

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