Robert De Niro bought lunch for the firefighters who battled the blaze at his New York City home.

The legendary actor and his wife Grace Hightower were left homeless by the fire at their home in Central West Park, but wanted to personally thank the team who extinguished it.

The fire was caused by a lint build-up in their clothes dryer at the couple's luxury apartment.

Robert, 69, and Grace hung out with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) crew from Engine Company 23 for hours on Friday (19.10.12), and ordered them a giant catered lunch from his restaurant Tribeca Grill as a way of saying thank you.

A source told the New York Post newspaper: ''Robert De Niro took pictures with the guys, and got a full tour of the firehouse.

''The food was a huge spread with two servers, meatballs, eggplant sandwiches and more.''

Robert - who appeared as a fireman in 1991 drama 'Backdraft' with Kurt Russell - was also busy Monday night (22.10.12), as he picked up Best Supporting Actor at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards in Los Angeles for his role in 'Silver Linings Playbook' as Bradley Cooper's father, a role for which he's been tipped to get an Oscar.

Robert and Grace are still looking for somewhere suitable to move in New York while renovating their fire damaged apartment, which could take up to three years.