Blaze kills NY firefighter at Edward Norton movie set

The fire broke out in the five-story residential building at around 11pm Thursday. (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: A New York firefighter was killed overnight in an inferno at a Harlem building turned into a film set for upcoming movie “Motherless Brooklyn,” directed by and starring Edward Norton, officials said Friday.

Michael Davidson, a 37-year-old married father of four, was pronounced dead at hospital after becoming separated from colleagues and falling unconscious when the fire department was called to the blaze in upper Manhattan.

The fire broke out in the five-story residential building at around 11pm Thursday (0300 GMT Friday). It had previously been the home of New York’s legendary St Nick’s Jazz Pub and the building is a designated city landmark.

Two other firefighters suffered serious injuries, the fire department said.

“Our city lost a hero tonight. Firefighter Michael Davidson was a 15-year veteran,” Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “The prayers of 8.5 million New Yorkers are with his wife, his four children and his loved ones.”

Police said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

“Motherless Brooklyn” is slated for release next year. Set in 1950s New York, it tells the story of a private detective suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, played by Norton, who tries to solve a friend’s murder.

Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin also star in the movie.

The film’s producers issued a statement through the media conveying their “deepest condolences” to Davidson’s family.

“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,” they said. “City firefighters truly are the bravest in the world.”