Fire Breaks Out at Salisbury Hotel in Midtown

By Alan Neuhauser and Patrick Hedlund  on May 22, 2012 8:07am  | Updated on May 22, 2012 8:32am

A blaze broke out in the basement of 123 W. 57th Street Tuesday morning, forcing evacuations, FDNY officials said.
A blaze broke out in the basement of 123 W. 57th Street Tuesday morning, forcing evacuations, FDNY officials said.
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DNAinfo/Alan Neuhauser

MIDTOWN — A transformer fire in the basement of a hotel on West 57th Street forced the evacuation of guests Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The blaze broke out in an electrical box shortly before 7 a.m. at the Salisbury Hotel between Sixth and Seventh avenues, sending plumes of smoke through the building, FDNY officials said.

Firefighters evacuated the hotel’s first six floors as a result, but no injuries were immediately reported, an FDNY captain said at the scene.

Fire crews were still working to bring the blaze under control at 7:30 a.m.

The city's Office of Emergency Management cautioned motorists to expect traffic delays in the area.

Guests were awakened Tuesday to fire alarms and the smell of smoke.

"We packed our baggage and left," said Horst Steenken, 48, of Germany. He described seeing firefighters and flashing lights from his sixth-floor room.

"I hope we can go back to our room," Steenken said. "We hope we can stay one more night ... It's my first time in America."

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