Michael Davidson, a New York City firefighter, was killed last night during a blaze that broke out in the Harlem building being used as the set for Motherless Brooklyn, Ed Norton’s adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel.
Deadline reports the fire began around 11 p.m. Thursday night in the five-story building that had been recently turned into a set, with crew lining the street with 1950s cars and hanging a sign for the “King Rooster Jazz Club” on the front. According to a statement released by the production, crew members were working when they noticed “noticed that smoke was coming into our set and into other parts of the building from below us.” They immediately notified the fire department and building residents, and began evacuating. The blaze reportedly spread fast, drawing 39 FDNY vehicles and 175 firefighters.
Davidson became separated from the rest of the firefighters at some point during the blaze, and was subsequently found unconscious. He died after midnight at Harlem Hospital. The full statement from the Motherless Brooklyn producers is below.