Fire Breaks Out at Salisbury Hotel in Midtown

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

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.

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

"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."