Monte Carlo Hotel Fire in Las Vegas injures 17, Results in Evacuation of 5,000 Guests

A fire at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas yesterday caused the evacuation of nearly 5,000 hotel guests. While no fatalities resulted from the <"">Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino fire, at least 17 people were taken to area hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.

The Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino fire started on the roof, and sent burning debris raining down on the Las Vegas Strip. About 120 firefighters responded to the 3-alarm blaze, but were hampered in their efforts to fight the fire because there are no fire ladders tall enough to reach the top of a 32-story building. As a result, fire crews were forced to fight the inferno from inside of the Monte Carlo Hotel by reaching out of the buildings windows.

The cause of the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino fire is still under investigation, but officials said welders working on the roof of the building Friday morning may have played a role in igniting the blaze. The top of the building is where much of its air-conditioning machinery and other electrical equipment are situated. Though there are no indications of arson or other criminal activity having played a role in the blaze, investigators in Las Vegas said that nothing has been ruled out at this time.

The Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, with 3,002 guest rooms and 211 suites, was almost full and about 900 workers were on duty when the fire began. Employees reportedly went door-to-door in the hotel to insure that all guests had evacuated. The evacuated Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino guests were taken to the nearby MGM Grand Garden. Management from MGM Mirage, Inc., which owns the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, said that all evacuated guests would be given rooms at other MGM Mirage properties in Las Vegas, including the Bellagio and New York New York resorts adjacent to the Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo Hotel guests were allowed back into the hotel late Friday and Saturday with security escorts to retrieve items left when they fled. Any guest arriving the night of the fire with a reservation to stay at the Monte Carlo was asked to report to the MGM Grand Garden.

Management from MGM Mirage said it was unknown when the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino might reopen, but a spokesperson for the company told The New York Times that “we have a lot of work ahead of us.” The 32-story building will remain closed until resort owner MGM Mirage Inc. completes work to the roof-line foam building material damaged in Friday’s blaze.

The Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino Fire was a grim reminder of one the nation’s deadliest hotel fires. The fire at the old MGM Grand, which was located about a half mile north of the Monte Carlo, 27 years ago killed 84 people. The MGM Grand Fire was second only to the Winecoff Hotel fire of 1946, which killed 119 people in Atlanta. The MGM Grand fire led to far stricter fire safety standards for the hotel industry here, and some experts credited them for the low injury count from Friday’s Monte Carlo fire.

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