Michael Davidson

WCBS 880

FDNY Firefighter Honored Year After Harlem Blaze Took His Life

March 23, 2019 - 2:50 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Firefighters, family and friends packed into a Harlem firehouse Saturday to remember Michael Davidson one year after his death fighting flames at a movie set in the neighborhood.

Michael Davidson was a 15-year veteran of the FDNY when he ran into a burning building serving as a movie set for Edward Norton’s film “Motherless Brooklyn” on March 23, 2018.

The 37-year-old didn’t make it out, leaving behind four young children, a wife, a brother and his parents.

Related: Cause Released For Harlem Movie Set Fire That Killed Firefighter

They gathered with others, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, at the late firefighter’s firehouse for Saturday’s ceremony in which Davidson was posthumously named an FDNY lieutenant.

A plaque honoring him was also dedicated and will hang at the firehouse, known as the Harlem Hilton, for years to come.  

“He was not one to shy from that which was most dangerous. He believed he was called to it,” de Blasio said.

Related: Fire Marshal: Fatal Fire Investigation Was Rigged To Protect Ed Norton

His wife Eileen Davidson eloquently spoke of both the pain and suffering of last year but also the need to remember who her husband was – a selfless hero.

“It was never about him,” she said. “It was about us.”

Eileen said one of the last memories of her husband is of the two learning she was cancer free and their daughter -- diagnosed with a rare lung disease -- was also getting better.

Related: NYC Firefighter Dies Battling Harlem Blaze On Set Of New Bruce Willis Movie

Eileen remembered: “We literally high-fived one another in the kitchen – on my last night with my husband. ‘We did it. We made it,’ we said.”  

“It sounds ridiculous,” she said, fighting back tears. “But I am so eternally grateful for that celebratory high-five.”