"I had strangers from the social media who are now helping me throughout my life," he told CNN.
Soon, the improvised group had closed 60 rooms for more than 100 people, including children and families, said Payne.
"I have people falling daily to help those who have seen the story about Instagram," he said. "They have volunteered money and time and cars because we had to get them to the hotel."
"I also have a real estate brokerage, so some of the agents came out to help," he said. "They cook for the homeless, helping them to serve."
The first movement of the crew was to evacuate a city of scenes near Dan Ryan Street, where a fire caused by a propane tank explosion forces dozens of residents, Paine said.
The Salvation Army had asked for about 70 people to flee, but later learned that it would not have been necessary because of Payne and his team.
"We are excited to be safe and warm," said charity spokesman Jacqueline Rachev.
Ad hoc volunteers also led around Chicago's South Loop, seeking people out of the cold, said Payne.
"We got people from the police stations, the hospitals out of the village around a fire, and we were going to look for them," he said. "What inspired me was my current blessings, so I was just trying to give it back. "