A raging inferno erupted inside Trump Tower Saturday night, killing a 67-year-old art dealer who was friends with Andy Warhol, authorities said.
Todd Brassner was found unconscious on the 50th floor of the posh Fifth Ave. high-rise, authorities said.
He was declared dead at Mt. Sinai-West Hospital.
“The entire apartment was on fire,” said FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro at a press conference at the scene.
“The fire was a difficult fire. The apartment was quite large and 50 stories up,” he said.
Brassner is mentioned multiple times in Warhol’s autobiography.
The famed artist noted that the pair grabbed lunch together at a Warhol's factory on Broadway in December 1976. Four months later, Brassner called Warhol to tell him that he just saw Muhammad Ali in the Polo Lounge, according to “The Andy Warhol Diaries.”
Brassner sold a series of Warhol prints, including a 1967 self-portrait that went for $601,000 in 2007. His collection once included a 1978 Marilyn Monroe print by Warhol inscribed “to Todd.”
Deadly fire at Trump Tower
But Brassner had fallen on hard times of late, filing for bankruptcy in 2015.
“The limited support of his family coupled with his medical problems caused the debtor to fall into arrears on his mortgage, credit card payments and line of credit payments,” says the filing, which notes his apartment is worth $2.5 million.
Nigro noted that the building’s residential floors lack sprinklers.
“The upper floors, which are residence floors, are not sprinklered,” he added. “But the building sure stood up quite well.”
No members of the First Family were inside at the time, officials said.
Video footage posted to social media showed flames blasting out of windows and flaming debris plummeting to the ground.
The fire, which broke out about 5:30 p.m., quickly went to three alarms.
Before officials revealed the fatality, President Trump fired off a tone-deaf tweet crowing about the building’s construction.
“Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”
Later in the evening, Trump made no mention of the death at his building.
But he did post a tweet defending his embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
According to Nigro, 200 firefighters and EMS personnel responded to the scene.
Lalitha Masson, a 76-year-old resident, called it “a very, very terrifying experience.”
“When I saw the television, I thought we were finished,” said Masson, who lives on the 36th floor with her 79-year-old husband who has Parkinson’s disease.
“I started praying that this was our end. I called my oldest son and said goodbye to him because the way it looked everything was falling out of the window, and it reminded me of 9/11.”
Dennis Shields, a resident who said he lived on the 42nd floor, said there were no orders to evacuate. But he rushed outside after receiving a private text message from Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
The pair grew up together, Shields said.
“He said, ‘Are you in the building?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘You better get out ASAP,’” Shields recalled. “That’s how I knew to get out, otherwise I’d still be in there.
Firefighters — along with Secret Service personnel — went to check on the president’s home in the building.
The Trump family’s apartment is a triplex said to extend from the 66th to 68th floors.
Four firefighters suffered minor injuries in the blaze, the commissioner said.
The building includes apartments and office space.
The blaze broke out roughly three months after two people were injured in a fire at the President’s flagship property.
The small electrical fire originated in the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.