A funeral is being held on Tuesday for a New York City firefighter who died in Harlem last week.
Michael Davidson, 37, was killed while responding to a fire in the basement of a building on St. Nicholas Avenue. He became separated from other firefighters and was later found unconscious. Davidson was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital of smoke inhalation.
"Mike had the nozzle at that fire. We had a difficult fire, and he sustained a burn injury but continued on to put out another two rooms in the apartment until we were finally relieved. That's dedication. That's heart. Here's a Firefighter with a tough job already, and then he sustains an injury, but he continued working hard until that fire was out," FDNY Lieutenant Ray McCormack said in a statement on Facebook
The funeral is being held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Cardinal Timothy Dolan will deliver the eulogy. A wake was held on Long Island on Sunday and Monday.
“Mike was a leader. He was on the Lieutenant list and he would have made a terrific Lieutenant. He could take charge, he could take direction, he had all the qualities that would make a good officer,” FDNY Captain Robert E. Allen said in a statement on Facebook.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced on Saturday that Davidson, a 15-year FDNY veteran, had been posthumously promoted to Lieutenant.
“Lieutenant Davidson was a natural-born leader and dedicated member of the FDNY who died fighting and serving our city,” Commissioner Nigro said in a statement. “He had all the qualities of an officer and more – his promotion is well-deserved.”
The fire broke out on Thursday night at a building where the movie "Motherless Brooklyn" was filming. Director and star Edward Norton said a member of the crew noticed smoke and alerted authorities. Davidson was among those who responded.
"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," Norton said in a statement on Instagram.
Davidson was cited for bravery and life saving actions on four occasions. He's the son of a retired firefighter and his brother is a firefighter in the Bronx. Davidson leaves behind a wife, Eileen, and four young children; Brooke, age 7; Joseph, age 6; Emily, age3; and Amy, age 1.
“One of the biggest things that I learned about Mike was how much he loved his family and that’s one thing that I really want everyone to know is how Mike loved his wife, Eileen, and loved his children,” FDNY Captain Daniel Kudlak said.
Donations to benefit his children can be made by visiting www.fdnyfoundation.org/donate and selecting “Firefighter Michael Davidson’s Children’s Education Fund” from the drop-down menu. Donations can also be made through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation at www.tunnel2towers.org.
Photo Credit: Alice Stockton-Rossini