Firefighter killed battling blaze in Harlem

Posted: Updated:

An FDNY firefighter from Long Island died late Thursday night while battling a fire at a Harlem building where a movie was being filmed.

Fire officials say Michael Davidson, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY and a married father of four, was on the front line of a five-alarm fire, which broke out in the building's basement around 11 p.m.

Officials say firefighters were in the building’s cellar when they got an order to retreat. They say Davidson then became separated from his unit. Reports say firefighters desperately searched for him, and when he was found, he was unconscious from severe smoke inhalation.

He was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the department is in mourning over the loss of a “very brave firefighter, one who has firefighting in his blood.”

"He comes from a family of firefighters. His dad is retired. He worked in the same firehouse that Michael did. His brother, Eric, works in Engine 88 in the Bronx," says Nigro.

His neighbor Tony Montanaro says he last saw Davidson during the most recent nor’easter. He was helping neighbors on the block dig out.

"He was never-ending, just always a giving kind of guy," said Montanaro.

The fire was reported by the crew of the movie “Motherless Brooklyn” which stars Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city lost a hero.

Donations in his honor can be made to the Firefighter Michael Davidson’s Children’s Educational Fund or by calling 718-999-0779. A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for Davidson's family.

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