A firefighter from the New York City Fire Department died on Thursday, March 22, after battling a fire in Harlem on the set of Edward Norton and Bruce Willis’ new movie, Motherless Brooklyn.
Michael R. Davidson, who served the FDNY for 15 years, was critically injured while fighting the five-alarm blaze in the basement of an unoccupied residential building. According to a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page, the Engine Company 69 member was transported to Harlem Hospital Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
“He is the 1,150th member to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving our city,” the statement read, adding that Davidson was “cited for bravery on four separate occasions.”
It is with deep regret that FDNY announces the death of Firefighter Michael R. Davidson. Read more: https://t.co/TCJoYSHksU pic.twitter.com/zJWvSIaPjH
— FDNY (@FDNY) March 23, 2018
The producers of Motherless Brooklyn also released a statement in wake of the news. “Our deepest condolences to the family of Michael R. Davidson,” they told Us Weekly. “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.”
The statement continued, “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. 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 superheroes and have our boundless admiration and gratitude.”
The building was built nearly a century ago and was formerly the location of the iconic St. Nick’s Pub, which closed its doors in 2011.
Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and four young children.
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