Fires break out at hotel near Port Authority Bus Terminal

MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- An investigation is underway into suspicious fires that broke out on three floors of a hotel near the Port Authority Bus Terminal Tuesday, authorities said.

Three separate fires were sparked shortly before 12 p.m. at Staybridge Suites, a 36-story hotel located at 340 W. 40th St., fire officials said.

Fires burned simultaneously on the third, eighth and 18th floors of the hotel, filling the building with smoke, officials said. Two fires burned in hallways; the third fire broke out in a guest room.

"Three separate fires in a fireproof building, very unusual,"FDNY Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich said.

The blazes have been deemed suspicious, FDNY officials said. The investigation has been turned over to the NYPD.

More than two dozen units and over 100 fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene, authorities said.

Hundreds of guests were inside the hotel when the fires started.

A man said he was staying on the 11th floor and could see smoke passing through the stairwells.

Some walked down 20 flights of stairs to then wait in the scorching heat until it was safe enough to go back in.

"I left my walking cane up there and I had come down the stairs, so it was frightening for us," another guest said.

One person suffered a minor injury, according to the FDNY. No heat-related issues were reported for firefighters, who battled the blaze as temperatures soared into above 90 degrees in Midtown.

As crews battled the fires, riders using Port Authority buses were told to expect inbound delays caused by the emergency response that has closed West 40th Street at Ninth Avenue, according to the transit hub’s official Twitter account.

By 2 p.m., regular operations out of the bus terminal had resumed but commuters were warned of possible residual delays.