A discarded cigarette may be to blame for a fire that shut down a busy midtown diner near Penn Station Sunday morning.
Diners were quickly evacuated out of the Tick Tock diner after the fire broke out around 10:15 a.m., restaurant owner Alex Sgourdos said. Firefighters had the fire under control in just under an hour and there were no injuries, according to officials.
Smoke poured inside he diner as the façade above its southeast doorway burned, officials and witnesses said.
“Probably a cigarette,” Sgourdos said as he surveyed the damage. “There’s no electric here… There’s no other explanation.”
The eatery is located on the first floor of the New Yorker hotel, at the corner of 34th St. and Eighth Avenue.
A fire department spokesman said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.
Employees quickly hosed down the sidewalk outside the restaurant and swept away debris. Sgourdos said repairmen were already starting to do work to fix the diner’s ceiling, adding that he hoped to reopen by Wednesday.
“It was a full house,” he said. “Thank God everyone is OK.”