NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was commotion in Times Square on Sunday morning.

A popular hotel was evacuated, after a nearby building caught fire, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported.

“The alarm went and they said ‘Emergency! Emergency! Everyone need to go out of the building,'” hotel guest Lisa Geraerts said.

Hyatt Times Square hotel guests recalled the terrifying moments they woke up to, smoke filling parts of the building. Outside, you could see it from blocks away.

“We you couldn’t actually see anything because the smoke was coming up, grey black, so that’s why knew we had to get out,” guest Bryan Buswell said.

So Buswell, a tourist from Great Britain, said he rushed down the stairs, running into a friend just a few flights down.

“I’m disabled and I can’t walk properly and I was on the 43rd floor and he insisted on virtually carrying me all the way down. Forty three floors, he carried me down,” guest Diana Ross said.

Ross, who is from London, said the further down they got, the more guests there were starting to fill the stairwell.

“Around the 23rd floor it became scary and I was concerned because there was a lot of disabled people who were struggling. Some were on crutches,” Ross said.

(Credit: Koen Timmers)

Ross, Buswell and everyone else made it out safe. Firefighters said some guests suffered minor injuries.

The problem started next door to the hotel in O’Lunney’s pub on 45th Street near Seventh Avenue. Most of the damage is inside of the restaurant, where firefighters said the fire started. The smoke spread up through the ventilation system all the way to the top of this building, Liverman reported.

The smoke also made its way into the hotel air shafts. Within a couple of hours, the fire was fully out, the smoke cleared, and guests were able to get back inside.

“He’s a hero and I want to thank him,” Ross said of Buswell.

It was a trip to New York they’ll never forget.

Firefighters said the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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