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Crime News Breaking News

Blaze On Ed Norton Movie Set Killed A 15-Year Veteran Of The New York Fire Department


By Jon Silman

A New York City firefighter died on the set of an Ed Norton-directed film, as a five-alarm blaze tore through an old building in Harlem.

Michael R. Davidson was the nozzle operator for his company, and he arrived first on the scene, according to the NY Daily News. The fire grew and forced his company to back out of the cellar of the building. That's when his fellow firefighters lost him, New York City fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a press conference. 

He was found later, unconscious, and he succumbed to his injuries at Harlem Hospital. 

"It is with deep regret that FDNY announces the death of Firefighter Michael R. Davidson. Firefighter Davidson, 37, was assigned to Engine Company 69 and bravely served the Department for 15 years," the New York Fire Department said in a Facebook post on Friday.

The fire started on the set of "Motherless Brooklyn," starring Edward Norton and Bruce Willis, based on a novel of the same name, according to ABC New York. The five-story building was constructed in the 1920s, and it's a landmark - the former home of St. Nick's Jazz Pub, a historic nightclub that closed in 2011. 

Two firefighters were also seriously injured and three civilians suffered minor injuries, Nigro said.

Neighbors told the NY Daily News that the crew placed old cars and trucks from the 1950s around the block, and turned the pub into a set. They installed a new sign for the "King Rooster Jazz Club" a few weeks ago.

The producers of the movie said the fire started toward the end of the working day. The crew noticed smoke seeping onto the set from other parts of the building below. They alerted the FDNY and evacuated. 

Davidson started his career in May 2003. His father was a firefighter in the same firehouse until retirement, and his brother is an 11-year veteran of Engine Company 88, in the Bronx.

He's survived by his wife and four children, and he's been cited for bravery on duty on four separate occasions. According to Nigro, he's the 1,150th member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.

A tweet from Friday shows the aftermath of the scene: 

[Photo: FDNY/Facebook]

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