Fire and emergency medical crews arrived on the scene at about 4:30 p.m. Monday evening at 3601 Vestal parkway.
Howard Johnson's is near Olum's and Hooters.
Investigators say the child set the fire in a hallway garbage pail with a lighter.
It didn't spread very far, but did reach a nearby vending machine, which caused most of the heavy smoke.
Almost everyone got out of the hotel safely.
Police say a 14-year-old girl, who is the boy's sister, jumped from her room's balcony.
She was brought to a local hospital for a minor chin injury.
Investigators says the fire caused heavy smoke damage to the building.
The Vestal, Binghamton, and Johnson City fire departments all responded.