New York billionaire Anthony Malkin, inset, of the fireworks display that caused the fire in Queenstown.
A mysterious donation of $100,000 has been made to the Queenstown and Arrowtown volunteer fire departments believed to be linked to the New Year’s Eve fire on billionaire Tony Malkin’s property.
Fires and emergencies New Zealand (Fenz) has confirmed that $50,000 was awarded to each brigade that fought the fire that started when the midnight fireworks display went awry.
thing We previously reported that Malkin and his wife Sherry drank beer and delivered letters of thanks to volunteer firefighters.
Malkin is Chief Executive Officer and President of Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building.
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In response to requests from the Official Information Act, Fentz said he received neither an apology nor financial compensation from Malkin or his company.
“But for clarity, we can advise that $50,000 letters and donations have been sent to each of the Arrowtown and Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade.
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A firework display at a rural estate associated with American billionaire Tony Malkin set half a hectare on fire.
“The details of the letter and the identity of the donor have not been provided to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.”
The Brigade was a registered charity and was legally entitled to accept donations.
“Fire and Emergency will support both brigades as they look at ways to maximize the use of donations to further their work in their communities,” Fentz said.
Fenz declined to comment further on the fire as it is still under investigation.
The fireworks display, believed to have cost tens of thousands of dollars, went on despite neighbors starting a petition to call it off over concerns about the impact on horses and other animals in the area. rice field. Over 600 people have signed.
The fireworks display was operated by Christchurch-based company Firework Professionals.
The company’s director, Nicholas Leland, said the display was “100% legal” and had all the necessary approvals.
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