New York firefighter dies in blaze on set of new Bruce Willis mov…


A firefighter has been killed after a blaze broke out at a movie set for Bruce Willis’ new film Motherless Brooklyn in Manhattan, New York City

Michael Davidson, 37, of Harlem’s Engine Company 68, became separated from his crew as 175 firefighters were battling the blaze at a building in Harlem overnight.

Hero: Michael Davidson, 37, a father-of-four and a 15-year veteran of the FDNY became separated from his crew

Hero: Michael Davidson, 37, a father-of-four and a 15-year veteran of the FDNY became separated from his crew

Hero: Michael Davidson, 37, a father-of-four and a 15-year veteran of the FDNY became separated from his crew

A mayday call was made and Davidson was found. He was rushed to Harlem Hospital but later died.

The fire was reportedly spotted by fellow Hollywood star Edward Norton, who saw smoke coming from the basement as the crew were setting up to shoot a night-time scene, New York Post reports. 

The film crew were inside the building on the ground floor, with actors dressed up in period costumes for a scene in the movie, set in the 1950s, when it broke out in the basement of 773 St Nicholas Avenue.  The The five-story building is home to the former St. Nick’s Jazz Pub, which closed in 2011.

‘We were inside when the fire started and everybody came out panicking,’ actress and model Angelica Guillen tweeted after the incident, adding that they ‘were all there and we are safe’ while offering her condolences to Mr Davidson’s family.

Mr Davidson, a married 15-year-veteran with the FDNY and father of four young daughters, was reportedly the first fireman into the building and suffered serious injuries after becoming separated from his crew. 

New York Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the blaze erupted in the basement of an unoccupied residential building about 11pm Thursday.

‘They went down the stairs to fight the fire with Davidson as nozzelman,’he said.

‘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.’

‘Our entire city mourns his loss.’

Thanks to the work of more than 175 NYFD firefighters, and dozens of vehicles, the fire was extinguished at around 2.30am on Friday.

Tragedy: Firefighter Michael Davidson, 37, was killed battling a blaze that broke out at a movie set for Bruce Willis’ new film Motherless Brooklyn in Harlem

The film's star and director, Ed Norton (right) raised the alarm after spotting smoke

The film's star and director, Ed Norton (right) raised the alarm after spotting smoke

The film’s star and director, Ed Norton (right) raised the alarm after spotting smoke

Emergency: The fire reportedly broke out in the basement of the building, which had previously housed a jazz bar and pub, in Harlem, Manhattan 

Emergency: The fire reportedly broke out in the basement of the building, which had previously housed a jazz bar and pub, in Harlem, Manhattan 

Emergency: The fire reportedly broke out in the basement of the building, which had previously housed a jazz bar and pub, in Harlem, Manhattan 

Spotter: Hollywood star and the film's director, Edward Norton, was reportedly the one who alerted emergency DC escort services after seeing smoke coming from the basement of the building 

Spotter: Hollywood star and the film's director, Edward Norton, was reportedly the one who alerted emergency DC escort services after seeing smoke coming from the basement of the building 

Spotter: Hollywood star and the film’s director, Edward Norton, was reportedly the one who alerted emergency DC escort services after seeing smoke coming from the basement of the building 

The scene of the blaze today. The building was once home to the famous St Nick's Jazz Pub, and was being used as a film set for Motherless Brooklyn

The scene of the blaze today. The building was once home to the famous St Nick's Jazz Pub, and was being used as a film set for Motherless Brooklyn

The scene of the blaze today. The building was once home to the famous St Nick’s Jazz Pub, and was being used as a film set for Motherless Brooklyn

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was at Harlem Hospital when Davidson's family arrived, and posted this poignant tweet 

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was at Harlem Hospital when Davidson's family arrived, and posted this poignant tweet 

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was at Harlem Hospital when Davidson’s family arrived, and posted this poignant tweet 

Ed Norton, pictured on the set of Motherless Brooklyn, raised the alarm

Ed Norton, pictured on the set of Motherless Brooklyn, raised the alarm

Ed Norton, pictured on the set of Motherless Brooklyn, raised the alarm

Nigro said two other firefighters suffered burns and are currently in serious condition, and three civilians were injured, although he did not say if they are part of the film crew.

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted early Friday morning: ‘This is an awful night. We’ve lost an NYC firefighter. Sick to my stomach. 

‘He’s a hero firefighter. No words. 4 young kids.’ 

Mr Phillips was at the hospital when Mr Davidson’s family arrived, and added: ‘You haven’t heard a scream until you’ve heard the scream of a mother who’s seen her son give his life to protect us.’ 

The fire reportedly broke out in the basement of the building where which formerly housed St. Nick’s Pub, a famous jazz bar that closed down seven years ago.

Neighbours told the New York Daily News that the film crew had turned the street into a 1950s set, using the bar as a ‘jazz club’ around two weeks ago.

Pictures from the scene of the fire taken early Friday morning shows old school 1950s cars parked outside. 

Neighborhood resident Daquan Evans, 28, told the New York Post he spotted a visibly shaken Norton at the scene.

‘That actor Ed Norton walked right by. He looked pretty upset,’ Evans said. ‘This is crazy this fire. You think a movie comes up here and it is good for the neighborhood. Not a fire . . . Damn.’

Mr Norton, who stars as one of the two leads with Mr Willis, is also writing the screenplay and directing the film.

Out of a movie: Bruce Willis is pictured on set of Motherless Brooklyn last month

Out of a movie: Bruce Willis is pictured on set of Motherless Brooklyn last month

Out of a movie: Bruce Willis is pictured on set of Motherless Brooklyn last month

Panic: An actress in the film wrote on Twitter that the crew had been inside filming a scene when the fire broke out 

Panic: An actress in the film wrote on Twitter that the crew had been inside filming a scene when the fire broke out 

Panic: An actress in the film wrote on Twitter that the crew had been inside filming a scene when the fire broke out 

Battling on: Firemen on a tower ladder are seen trying to extinguish the blaze along with their more than 170 colleagues

Battling on: Firemen on a tower ladder are seen trying to extinguish the blaze along with their more than 170 colleagues

Battling on: Firemen on a tower ladder are seen trying to extinguish the blaze along with their more than 170 colleagues

Injuries: The New York Fire Department said two other firefighters suffered burns and are currently in serious condition, and three civilians were injured, although is is not known if they are part of the film crew

Injuries: The New York Fire Department said two other firefighters suffered burns and are currently in serious condition, and three civilians were injured, although is is not known if they are part of the film crew

Injuries: The New York Fire Department said two other firefighters suffered burns and are currently in serious condition, and three civilians were injured, although is is not known if they are part of the film crew

City's finest: New York firefighters assist at the scene of the blaze which was fought overnight 

City's finest: New York firefighters assist at the scene of the blaze which was fought overnight 

City’s finest: New York firefighters assist at the scene of the blaze which was fought overnight 

Flames broke out in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Ave. at about 11 pm

Flames broke out in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Ave. at about 11 pm

Flames broke out in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Ave. at about 11 pm

Mr Norton, who stars as one of the two leads with Mr Willis, is also writing the screenplay and directing the film.

Motherless Brooklyn is a crime drama set in 1950s New York based on a murder mystery novel by Jonathan Lethem. 

The cast also includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin, and is due for release next year.

The producers of ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ issued a short statement expressing their ‘deepest condolences’ to Davidson’s family.

‘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’. 

Set: Retro 1950s cars can be seen in the background as firefighters battle the blaze

Set: Retro 1950s cars can be seen in the background as firefighters battle the blaze

Set: Retro 1950s cars can be seen in the background as firefighters battle the blaze

Hard work: The fire broke out around 11pm on Thursday evening, and was extinguished at around 2.30am

Hard work: The fire broke out around 11pm on Thursday evening, and was extinguished at around 2.30am

Hard work: The fire broke out around 11pm on Thursday evening, and was extinguished at around 2.30am

Emergency DC escort services are seen waiting on the opposite side of the road behind a car used on the movie set

Emergency DC escort services are seen waiting on the opposite side of the road behind a car used on the movie set

Emergency DC escort services are seen waiting on the opposite side of the road behind a car used on the movie set

Shock and surprise: Witnesses film the burning house with the mobile phone cameras from a safe distance

Shock and surprise: Witnesses film the burning house with the mobile phone cameras from a safe distance

Shock and surprise: Witnesses film the burning house with the mobile phone cameras from a safe distance





New York firefighter dies in blaze on set of new Bruce Willis mov…