A New York City firefighter died late Thursday night while battling a five-alarm fire in Harlem on the set of Edward Norton's new movie, Motherless Brooklyn.
Michael R. Davidson, a 37-year-old father of four, was critically injured in the blaze that broke out in the basement of an occupied residential building designated as a New York City landmark.
In a post on their Facebook page early Friday morning, FDNY officials noted that Davidson, who was a member of Engine Company 69, was quickly "transported to a Harlem Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," adding that he "was cited for bravery on four separate occasions," and is "the 1,150th member to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving our city."
In a statement released to ET by Motherless Brooklyn producers and Norton -- who also wrote and stars in the film alongside Bruce Willis, Bobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe and Leslie Mann -- production was wrapping up and dozens of people were on site when the fire broke out at around 11 p.m.
"Our deepest condolences to the family of Michael R. Davidson," it read. "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."
The statement continued, stating that production "immediately alerted the fire department and began alerting residents of the building," while evacuating 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," they said. "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."
According to The New York Times, it has not yet been determined how the fire started. Officials and NYC fire commissioner Daniel A. Nigro stated that Engine Company 69 was the first fire department on the scene, and Davidson was somehow separated from other firefighters when the blaze intensified, forcing them to pull back from the building. Flames quickly climbed up through the building and were seen rising through the roof.
The Harlem structure was built nearly 100 years ago and was the location of the legendary St. Nick's Pub, which closed in 2011.
Davidson is survived by his wife Eileen and their four children who are ages 1, 3, 6 and 7, according to a tweet from NYC Councilmember Mark D. Levine.
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