Dezeen Magazine

Trump Tower fire

Trump Tower catches fire in New York City, injuring three

An electrical fire has caused smoke to billow from the roof of Donald Trump's skyscraper on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and has injured three people.

Reports claim that Trump Tower's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system ignited earlier around 7am, but the New York City Fire Department tweeted saying the fire was "under control" shortly afterwards.

However, two civilians and a firefighter are said to have sustained minor injuries from the blaze, which caused a large plume of dark smoke. President Trump, who owns the building and keeps an apartment in the skyscraper, is currently in Washington DC.

Eric Trump, one of the president's sons and the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, referenced a problem with a cooling tower on the roof and praised the fire fighters swift response on Twitter.

Notoriously active on social media, Donald Trump has yet to comment on the incident, as of midday.

It is possible that the HVAC unit was overloaded, as New York City has experienced extremely cold temperatures over the past week – the coldest spell to hit the area in decades in the aftermath of a winter storm referred to as a "bomb cyclone".

Completed in 1983, Trump Tower was designed by American architect Der Scutt and has zigzagging glass facade, with stepped terraces topped with trees midway up.

It served as the headquarters for Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, and is used as his company's main base. Reality TV show The Apprentice, in which Trump starred, was also set there.

The president and his family lived in the building at 721–725 Fifth Avenue, before moving to the White House after his election. His wife Melania delayed her stay an additional five months after her husband moved, until their son Barron finished his school year in the city.

This Trump Tower is part of a larger development of Trump-branded buildings around the world. The building houses offices and luxury apartments, across 58 storeys and reaching 664 feet (202 metres).

Trump Tower fire
Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue was designed by American architect Der Scutt and completed in 1983

Fires in urban residential towers have become a key issue of debate since the disaster at London's Grenfell Tower, where a fire killed 71people in June 2017.

The low-income housing development's cladding was blamed for the tragedy, which stirred conversation among architects and planners, and exposed the UK's "dangerous, ugly, cruel and uncaring" approach to social housing.

Over the past few years, fires have also torn through the Torch Tower and The Address Downtown in Dubai.