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Actor Ed Norton Praises ‘Selfless Courage' of FDNY After Film Set Blaze Kills Firefighter

What to Know

  • A 15-year veteran of the FDNY died from injuries he suffered while battling a massive fire at a movie set for an Ed Norton film
  • Norton took to Instagram Saturday to praise the FDNY and ask people to donate to a fund for Michael Davidson's children
  • A funeral for Davidson will he held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral next week

Actor Ed Norton took to social media on Saturday to praise the FDNY’s bravery and his film crew’s quick thinking in the wake of a film set inferno that killed a firefighter in Harlem earlier this week.

“I have never witnessed firsthand that kind of bravery,” Norton wrote in an Instagram post about the fire. “I’m in awe of that kind of selfless courage.”

Norton added: “It’s devastating to contemplate that one of the men we watched charging in there lost his life. Please send a prayer of thanks for the spirit and courage of Michael Davidson.”

Davidson, a 37-year-old who had been with the FDNY for 15 years, died from his injuries while battling the fire at St. Nicholas Avenue and 149th Street late Thursday night. 

The 15-year veteran got separated from his fellow firefighters while fighting the smoky blaze. When firefighters found him, he was unconscious and did not survive his injuries.

He leaves behind a wife and four children in Floral Park. 

The fire broke out at an apartment building that is the set of "Motherless Brooklyn," which, according to IMDB, is being directed by Norton and stars Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Leslie Mann.

In one of two posts about Davidson, Norton said he and his team are “committed to honoring him and assisting his family.”

In a second post, the actor encouraged people to donate to the FDNY Foundation, which he said will fund the education of Davidson’s children.

Norton also praised members of his crew, including his assistant director, who he said “acted decisively and quickly to try to locate the source of the smoke, evacuate cast and crew, call the fire department and then rapidly move our equipment and vehicles away so that the FDNY had clear access.”

“Had our team not noticed the situation and responded and alerted the fire department with the speed they did, I believe the residents of the building above would have perished,” Norton wrote.

Davidson was promoted posthumously Saturday to a lieutenant. Meanwhile, purple and black bunting hung over Ladder 28 in Harlem, where he served.

His funeral is set for Tuesday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

 

Many of you know that the crew of our film ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ experienced a dramatic and ultimately tragic event on Thursday night, in which a fire engulfed the building we were working in and an FDNY firefighter died fighting the blaze. Thanks to the many, many people who have written to us supportively. Our team’s formal statement on the event is here in the slideshow. It has been reported in some news outlets that the fire ‘started on the set’. This is incorrect. It appears to have started in the basement cellar of the building we were working in. We were filming in a bar and an apartment within the building and our crew noticed smoke rising up into where we were working. It has been reported that I was the one who smelled smoke and raised an alarm. This is incorrect. I was outside setting up a shot outside the building. Our fantastic 1st AD was the first to notice the smell of smoke before anyone even saw it and it was he and others on the crew who acted decisively and quickly to try to locate the source of the smoke, evacuate cast and crew, call the fire department and then rapidly move our equipment and vehicles away so that the FDNY had clear access. I cannot praise the professionalism of our crew highly enough. Had our team not noticed the situation and responded and alerted the fire department with the speed they did, I believe the residents of the building above would have perished. And though we described what we saw the FDNY do in our statement and articulated our feelings, it’s worth doubling down. I have never witnessed firsthand that kind of bravery. I’m in awe of that kind of selfless courage. It’s devastating to contemplate that one of the men we watched charging in there lost his life. Please send a prayer of thanks for the spirit and courage of Michael Davidson. Our team is committed to honoring him and assisting his family and, in due course, when we can determine with his family what form they’d like that to take, I’ll pass along any information I have about a verified way people can contribute.

A post shared by Edward Norton (@edwardnortonofficial) on Mar 24, 2018 at 9:49am PDT

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