Firefighter Dies in Fire on Set of Edward Norton Film

Michael R. Davidson, a 15-year FDNY veteran and a married father of four, lost his life in the blaze

By Corinne Heller Mar 23, 2018 2:46 PMTags

A New York City firefighter was killed on Thursday battling a fire in a building used as a set for Ed Norton's latest movie.

The New York City Fire Department identified the man as 37-year-old Michael R. Davidson, a 15-year department veteran and a married father of four.

"Firefighter Davidson, 37, was assigned to Engine Company 69 and bravely served the Department for 15 years. He was cited for bravery on four separate occasions," the group said in a statement on Facebook. "Firefighter Davidson was critically injured while fighting a 5-alarm fire in Manhattan. He was transported to Harlem Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Firefighter Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and four children. He is the 1,150th member to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving our city."

The fire broke out on Thursday night in the basement of a Harlem building that once contained the club St. Nick's Pub and engulfed the structure. For the past few weeks, it was being used as a set for filming the movie Motherless Brooklyn, which Norton directs, wrote and stars in. The crew was about to wrap up for the day when they noticed smoke and alerted the fire department and building residents.

Officials said two other firefighters suffered serious burns and three other civilians suffered minor injuries, NBC New York said. 

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"Our deepest condolences to the family of Michael R. Davidson," producers of Motherless Brooklyn said in a statement. "A fire broke out tonight in the building where we were shooting our film. Our production was towards the end of our working day and had dozens of people working on site, when our crew noticed that smoke was coming into our set and into other parts of the building from below us. As soon as we noticed smoke coming up into our set, our crew immediately alerted the fire department and began alerting residents of the building even as we evacuated our cast and crew."

"To our great sorrow, we now know that a NYC firefighter lost his life battling the blaze that grew, and our hearts ache in solidarity with his family," the statement said. "New York City firefighters truly are the bravest in the world. We watched firsthand with astonishment as they charged into the smoke to make sure all were safely out and then fought to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading, putting their lives on the line as they do every day. The FDNY are real life super-heroes and have our boundless admiration and gratitude."

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