Hilton New York hotel fire
A fire in an electrical shaft at the Hilton New York hotel
yesterday afternoon forced the evacuation of the 45-story
Midtown building, sent 33 people to the hospital with smoke
inhalation and shut down traffic on Avenue of Americas between
West 51st and 54th Streets for more than three hours, the
Fire Department said. No one was seriously injured.
The fire started about 4 p.m. as welders were performing
maintenance, according to firefighters on the scene. It
was limited to a shaft running the length of the building.
The smoke spread rapidly through the 2,017-room hotel through
the ventilation system.
Hotel guests from the 8th to the 33rd floors said that
the hallways were thick with smoke.
"We were going up to the 33rd floor, and smoke greeted
us as the elevator doors opened," said Julie Keigley,
a guest from California.
By 5:30 p.m. the fire had been extinguished but guests
were not allowed in until later as firefighters searched
the building and checked the levels of carbon monoxide
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