Azerbaijan: High-rise planned as Trump hotel catches fire

Azerbaijani firefighters work at the scene of the Trump-branded building in Baku, Azerbaijan, Saturday.

A high-rise building in Azerbaijan’s capital that once was intended to be a Trump-branded hotel caught fire Saturday, but the flames were put out and no injuries were reported.

The 33-story building had few visible signs of damage to its exterior once firefighters who sprayed water into the structure from trucks extinguished the blaze. The fire’s cause has not been established, authorities said.

Reflecting the building’s significance in Azerbaijan, Emergency Situations Minister Kamalladin Heydarov was at the scene. The ministry said the fire started on the 18th floor and burned for three hours.

“The fire lasted a long time due to a lack of water,” Deputy Minister Etibar Mammadov said. “The reasons for the fire are being investigated”

The Trump Organization canceled its licensing deal for the planned hotel in December 2016, one month after Donald Trump was elected U.S. president.

The company had partnered on the project with Anar Mammadov, the son of the transport minister of Azerbaijan at the time, Ziya Mammadov.

The elder Mammadov was suspected by U.S. diplomats of laundering money for Iran’s military, according to leaked diplomatic cables made available in 2010.

Financial disclosures filed by his campaign, Trump earned between $2.5 million and $2.8 million in management fees from the unopened hotel.