LIVE STREAM: Thousands gather for funeral of FDNY firefighter Michael R. Davidson
Thousands are expected to attend the funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson, who died battling a blaze in Harlem on Friday.
Thousands of mourners are expected to attend Tuesday’s funeral for Michael R. Davidson, the FDNY firefighter who died battling a blaze in Harlem Friday.
The funeral services come after two days of viewings in Davidson’s hometown of Floral Park, Long Island.
Davidson, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, was a member of Engine Company 69, the first to arrive at the blaze at 773 St. Nicholas Ave. and 149th St. late Thursday night.
Davidson, who was operating the fire hose nozzle, became separated from other firefighters when they started to retreat when the blaze intensified in the first floor of the five-story building.
He was found unconscious and taken to Harlem Hospital, where he later died from smoke inhalation, the medical examiner determined Monday.
Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and four children: Brooke, 7, Joseph, 6, Emily, 3, and Amy, 1. His father, Robert, retired from the FDNY after 26 years primarily spent with Engine Company 69, and his brother, Eric, is an 11-year FDNY veteran of Engine Company 88 in the Bronx, the FDNY said.
Davidson, who joined the FDNY in 2003 and was cited four times for his bravery, was posthumously promoted to lieutenant on Saturday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. He was the 1,150th FDNY firefighter to die in the line of duty.
The fire is believed to have started in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Ave. Davidson was found on the first floor, which is the site of the former St. Nick Pub, a longtime jazz club that closed in 2011.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and the building is slated to be demolished soon.
The defunct club had been vacant since closing, but was recently being used as a set location for “Motherless Brooklyn,” a 1950s-set film directed by and starring Edward Norton.
The crew was wrapping up filming when an assistant director smelled smoke, Norton said on Instagram. The crew and actors were evacuated so the FDNY could access the building.