On Thursday, a firefighter from the New York City Fire Department died while battling a fire on a movie set of actors Bruce Willis and Edward Norton's new movie, Motherless Brooklyn. The deceased, Michael R Davidson, was critically injured while fighting the five-alarm blaze in the basement of an unoccupied residential building, reported US Magazine.
Davidson was a second-generation firefighter who had been cited four times for bravery during 15 years on the job. According to a statement posted on the department's Facebook page, Davidson succumbed to his injuries after he was taken to Harlem Hospital Center in the city. "He is the 1,150th member to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving our city," the statement read.
The producers of Motherless Brooklyn also released a statement condoling the firefighter's death. "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," they told Us Weekly.
The statement continued, "To our great sorrow, we now know that an 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, which was being used to film the adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel of the same name, is a landmark built in 1920. It was home to the former St. Nick's Jazz Pub, a venerable bar that was closed in 2011. The cause of the five-alarm fire is under investigation.