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October 24, 2014

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Fire Chief: Monte Carlo fire accidental, contractor may be cited *UPDATED

Last Friday’s rooftop fire at the 32-story Monte Carlo started accidentally but could have been prevented, the Clark County Fire Department has just reported.

The fire occurred when workers were cutting corrugated steel products for a walkway that was being installed along the edge of the roof, said Fire Chief Steve Smith. The workers were using a cutting torch. Flying molten ignited material and flames spread to the architectural façade of the building. The construction workers tried unsuccessfully to extinguish it.

Smith said the contraactor responsible for the work failed to obtain the necessary permit to do it, and that it appeared no slag mats were used to catch molten metal drippings. The county is considering whether to cite the contractor with misdemeanor violations, which could result in fines and/or jail time.

The three-alarm fire, which forced the evacuation of the 3,002-room, 11-yeaer-old hotel, was extinguished about 75 minutes after it began. There were no serious injuries but eight people — mostly firefighters — were treated for smoke inhalation. The hotel remains closed.

The county's statement can be viewed in the downloadable PDF file above, to the right.

Update:

This statement, just released by MGM Mirage:

MGM MIRAGE has just learned that the County investigation into the fire at Monte Carlo has confirmed the preliminary results of our third-party forensic experts’ investigation that also determined the cause of the fire was related to welding activity on the roof of the hotel.

We have also determined that the property’s maintenance of certain paperwork for this activity did not meet our corporate standards. That situation is being immediately addressed internally and will be reviewed with fire department and county officials as appropriate.

The company looks forward to reviewing the complete results of the official County investigation of the incident.

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