Basement blaze at Macy's forces hundreds to evacuate
A fire broke out in the basement of Macy's flagship store Wednesday afternoon, and although officials said no one was injured, the blaze sent evacuated employees and shoppers pouring into Herald Square.
About 60 firefighters responded to the blaze at about 3:15 p.m., the FDNY said. The main fire was under control in less than an hour. It was not immediately clear what may have caused it.
Shopper Phil Iannarone, 48, was on the ninth floor of the mega department store when the alarms went off.
The hundreds of people inside the store seemed to mobilize quickly, he added.
"I went to the stairwell and it was already filling up. It got really crowded, but people were calm," Iannarone said.
After a couple of hours, customers were allowed back inside.
FDNY Manhattan Borough Commander James Esposito said crews were "very fortunate [the fire] did not travel horizontally."
The retailer is in the midst of a major $400 million expansion that will add more selling space.