A firefighter died while battling a blaze that broke out on the set of Edward Norton’s new film Motherless Brooklyn on Thursday night (22Mar18).
According to the Associated Press (AP), 37-year-old Michael Davidson died after a fire broke out at around 11 p.m. on the Harlem set of the film, in which director Norton also stars alongside Bruce Willis.
The crew was shooting at the former St. Nick’s Jazz Pub, a 1920s five-storey building in Hamilton Heights, when production crew spotted smoke coming from the basement of the building and called emergency services.
Davidson, a father of four who comes from a family of firefighters, was one of the first respondents, but was found unconscious in the building after becoming separated from his fellow firefighters. He later died at Harlem Hospital, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro confirmed to AP.
“He’s a 15-year-veteran of this department,” Nigro told the news outlet. “Our entire department, our entire city mourns this horrific loss of a very brave firefighter.”
The producers of Motherless Brooklyn, an adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel of the same name, which also stars Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, and Leslie Mann, expressed their “deepest condolences” to Davidson’s family on Friday morning.
“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,” Norton and the film’s producers said in a statement to media outlets. “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.”
Five other people reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blaze, which was battled by 44 trucks and 200 firefighters, and was declared under control at about 2:30 a.m.
Photos posted on social media by locals on the scene showed flames coming through the roof of the building which the production crew had turned into a set, hanging a new sign for the King Rooster Jazz Club about two weeks ago.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
– Cover Media0