Fire on Film Set in Storied St. Nick’s Pub




A fire broke out in the cellar of the building that once was the home to St. Nick’s Pub.  The club, which has been closed since 2011, was being used as a film location for the Edward Norton film, “Motherless Brooklyn based on a novel by Jonathan Lethem.

We learned that officials ruled the the fire was due to heat from a boiler, nearby combustible materials, and a sprinkler system that didn’t work. 

As the five-alarm fire raged through the building on Thursday night, firefighters worked tirelessly against heavy smoke and flames ~ but sadly lost a 15 year veteran of the fire department, 37 year-old, Michael Davidson, two other fire fighters injured, and three civilians were injured. Many people lost their homes.

The four-story building located at 773 St. Nicholas Avenue at 149th Street in Sugar Hill was built in 1920.  The ground floor has been vacant, however rental apartments occupied floors two through four, and appear to have been completely gutted, and was demolished on Wednesday, March 28th.  Adjacent buildings sustained damage as well.

Less than five days later, and on the same day as the funeral of the firefighter who lost his life in the blaze, a tenant in the fire-damaged building is suing actor Edward Norton’s production company for $14 million. A lawsuit was also filed against the building’s owner, Vincent Sollazzo. The suit claims that the sister of the person holding the lease on the apartment was forced to “run for her life” and suffered “severe and permanent personal injuries” and property loss. Read more on NY1.

Below are photos taken on Thursday, March 29, 2018

fire. photo taken 3-29-18
Demolition 3-29-18
Demolition 3-29-18
View from St. Nicholas Ave at 149th Street 3-29-18

The initial call came in at 10:50pm on Thursday night.  The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.  Vintage cars still lined the streets from the film shoot, which was due to conclude that day.

The New York Post reported that the building had no sprinkler system and open violations when permit to film was issued. Law suits continue…..