A New York City firefighter lost his life Thursday night when a fire broke out on the set of “Motherless Brooklyn,” the new film from director Edward Norton. 37-year-old Michael R. Davidson, a father of four, received critical injuries while fighting a five-alarm-fire, the New York City Fire Department told Variety. He had been in the FDNY for 15 years, and was cited for bravery four times.
The fire occurred in the basement of a Harlem apartment building around 11 p.m. Thursday night, during filming of the upcoming film. Based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem, “Motherless Brooklyn” stars Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Leslie Mann, and Willem Dafoe. It is being produced by Warner Bros.
Norton and the film’s producers issued a statement once they heard about Davidson’s death:
“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.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Our city lost a hero tonight. The prayers of 8.5 million New Yorkers are with his wife, his four children, and his loved ones.”
See photos from the fire below.