1st lawsuit filed against production company after deadly Harlem fire

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- The first lawsuit has been filed in the deadly fire that killed a veteran FDNY lieutenant in Harlem.

The building where Firefighter Michael Davidson died is in the process of being taken down.

Demolition crews have removed several floors, but still have to demolish the first.

The woman who filed the lawsuit lived on the fourth floor of the building and says she lost everything.

Last Thursday, Edward Norton's production company was at the building on St. Nicholas wrapping up filming for the movie "Motherless Brooklyn."

Erica Cruz says she called from her fourth floor apartment to the crew below after smelling smoke.

Cruz says she was told by the crew that there was a small fire, and it was put out.

But minutes later, she said she opened her door and found heavy smoke and had to walk down the stairs without being able to see or breathe.

She got out safely, but she lost everything.

Her lawsuit says the employees of the production company didn't warn the tenants and misled them into thinking the fire had been extinguished.

Over the weekend, Edward Norton described a different version of events, praising the crew on his Instagram page.

"Had our team not noticed the situation and responded and alerted the fire department with the speed they did, I believe the residents of the building above would have perished," Norton wrote.

Cruz says the production company also had flammable equipment stored in the building, and that the building didn't have working smoke detectors.

Cruz is suing the production company the owner of the building for $5 million.

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