One New York City firefighter has died and another has been seriously injured battling a blaze that broke out late Thursday on a film set in upper Manhattan, authorities said.
The fire reportedly began around 11 p.m. in the basement of a five-story building where crews were shooting “Motherless Brooklyn,” an upcoming film set in 1950s New York, starring Bruce Wilson and Edward Norton.
Witness videos posted to social media showed a massive firefighter response to the five-alarm blaze.
“This is a tragedy. Please give us some privacy,” Norton told reporters at the scene, the New York Daily News reported.
Norton was standing outside when he first noticed the fire in the basement and pointed it out to a nearby cop, the New York Post reported.
The deceased firefighter was 37 years old and had four daughters, according to the paper.
He was initially missing when a mayday call went out from the building, multiple witness reports said. The New York City Fire Department declared the scene “under control” on Twitter about 2:40 a.m. Friday.
The site of the fire, at 773 St. Nicholas Ave., in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem, formerly housed the St. Nick’s Jazz Pub, a fixture of Harlem’s nightlife that was closed in 2011.
Witnesses reportedly said crews had hung a sign saying “King Rooster Jazz Club” on the building, and were using the old pub location for filming.
“Fire at 773 St. Nicholas Ave, started in basement, now flames coming our through roof,” New York City councilmember Mark Levine tweeted early Friday. “Massive @fdny operation underway.”
The fire “appears to have started in a long-closed bar on ground floor (former St. nick’s pub), which was being used for a movie shoot in past week,” Levine added.
The mayor’s office later confirmed that a firefighter had died in Harlem Hospital.
“This is an awful night,” mayoral press secretary Eric Phillips tweeted. “We’ve lost an NYC firefighter. Public briefing shortly at Harlem Hospital. Sick to my stomach.”
“Motherless Brooklyn,” which also stars Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin, is set for release next year.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for further updates.