Firefighter dies responding to blaze on set of Bruce Willis, Ed Norton film ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Michael Davidson was a father of four

A New York City firefighter died responding to a blaze on the set of an upcoming movie starring Bruce Willis and Ed Norton.

The New York Post reports that Michael Davidson of Harlem’s Engine Company 6 went missing amid the flames after responding to a burning building at  773 St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, a shooting location for the upcoming film “Motherless Brooklyn,” written and directed by Norton.

Davidson, a father of four, was eventually found and taken to the hospital, but died of his injuries.

Two additional fighter fighters were injured in the blaze but those injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, the New York Post reports.

According to the report, a fire broke out in the basement as crew members were working just outside the building. No one was in the basement at the time the fire erupted.

“They went down the stairs to fight the fire with Davidson as nozzleman,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters in a news conference.

“The fire was too heavy. They were forced to retreat and as they backed out, he (Davidson) got separated from the rest of the unit. He was found unconscious on the floor and despite the best efforts of the FDNY and EMTs, they were unable to revive him.”

The film’s producers issued a statement in response to the tragedy:

“Our deepest condolences to the family of Michael R. Davidson.  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. 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.”

No one from the film production was injured in the fire.


[Feature image: Michael Davidson/Courtesy of FDNY]