• NYC firefighter dies as blaze breaks out on set of Edward Norton film

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    NEW YORK -

    A veteran New York City firefighter died in a five-alarm blaze on the set of a movie being filmed in Harlem on Thursday, the New York Daily News reported.

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    Michael Davidson, 37, who is married and a father of four, died after the fire broke out on the set of “Motherless Brooklyn,” starring and directed by Edward Norton. Davidson, a 15-year veteran who was the nozzle man, arrived with his unit at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, the Daily News reported.

    Davidson was unconscious when firefighters found him, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday. Davidson died at Harlem Hospital at 12:16 a.m., the Daily News reported.

    “This is an awful night. We’ve lost an NYC firefighter. Public briefing shortly at Harlem Hospital. Sick to my stomach,” tweeted Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    The film location is where the old St. Nick’s Jazz Pub once operated, the New York Post reported.

    The movie also stars Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin.

    The film crew was setting up to shoot outside the five-story building when Norton spotted smoke coming from the basement and alerted a nearby policeman, the Post reported.

    Two firefighters were seriously injured and are being treated at Weill Cornell Burn Center. Three other people suffered minor injuries, Nigro said.

    "Our entire department, our entire city mourns this horrific loss of a very brave firefighter,” Nigro said. “Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family and may God rest his soul.”

    The film's producers issued a statement saying, "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. 

    "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. “

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