HARLEM, Manhattan — The cause of death has been revealed for an FDNY firefighter who died while battling a blaze a warehouse-turned-movie set in Harlem, the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday.
Davidson, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, died of smoke inhalation on March 22. The blaze began about 11 p.m. in the cellar of a historic, five-story building at 773 St. Nicholas Ave., at West 149th Street. Davidson's job was to operate a hoseline to suppress the fire.
Firefighters were ordered to evacuate the building as the conditions worsened, but Davidson became separated from the rest of his unit, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Davidson was found unconscious and critically injured. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, fire officials said.
“Firefighter Davidson bravely battled many fires and responded to countless calls for help from New Yorkers throughout his 15 years of dedicated service,” Nigro said. “Our department and our entire city mourn this tragic loss of a very brave Firefighter.”
Hundreds attended his wake Monday, many waiting more than two hours to get in.
Davidson was posthumously promoted to lieutenant. He is survived by his wife and four children, ages 1 to 7.
“I want this city to know and this country to know the person lost a few days ago what we all lost and how much he loved his family," said Capt. Daniel Kudlak said.
Capt. Kudlak also talked about Davidson’s love for the Jets and Mets.
“He loved those Mets, each season right about now, it’d be how many wins the Mets would have this year.”
It took 175 firefighters to get the fire under control. Two other firefighters were seriously hurt and three civilians were injured. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.