Following Shabbat, hundreds of observant Jewish visitors to a particular Chanukah program had to be evacuated from a hotel in New Jersey.
On Motzei Shabbos, all 800 guests at the Hilton at Woodcliff Lake were required to depart after a pipe burst, probably due to the extreme cold.
A large portion of the attendees was there for a yearly Chanukah celebration.
Guest Shlomo Garfinkle remarked, “We were going to have a good night tonight, and then right towards the end of Shabbos, we heard the sirens go off.
Aaron Weinberger, a partygoer, said, “The fire alarm went off, and everyone was evacuated safely, everything was orderly, and everyone was calm.”
He continued, “Everyone was safe, thank God for that, and we’re all good.”
According to fire official John Whelan, there was a ceiling leak on the fourth level from which water from the household water line cascaded down.
According to the authorities, the sprinkler system is malfunctioning; therefore, the hotel has to be evacuated for everyone’s safety.
A concert was set to start after Shabbos and go until Sunday; however, it seems that many attendees departed early and went home.
Even though we missed the concert tonight, we were still able to complete Shabbos thanks to the incident, which occurred at the end of the holiday, according to Mr. Garfinkle.