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Report: Wrong kind of resin helped Monte Carlo fire spread

Updated Friday, Aug. 29, 2008 | 2:53 p.m.

Monte Carlo Fire

The charred upper floors of the Monte Carlo show where a fire broke out Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Launch slideshow »

An analysis of materials involved in a fire on the outside of the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino revealed the use of a non-approved resin in two areas helped spread the blaze, Clark County officials said today.

The Jan. 25 fire started when molten metal fell on the roof as workers used a hand-held torch to cut some metal, fire investigators said.

As a result of the county's analysis, MGM Mirage Corp., parent company of the hotel, is required to hire a Nevada-registered fire protection engineer to recommend a remedy to the issues raised in the analysis, said Ron Lynn, the county's development services director.

Tests on the foam used in the façade indicated it was fire retardant, as required, Lynn said.

The wrong kind of resin was used on two of the decorative bands near the top of the hotel and caused the fire to spread faster than expected in that area, Lynn said.

Fire retardant materials used in construction, fire suppression systems inside the building and rapid response by Clark County firefighters contained the blaze, Lynn said.

There were no serious injuries and fire damage was mostly limited to a small part of the exterior of the hotel, Lynn said.

The report, prepared by Hughes & Associates, was based on tests and analysis by MVA Scientific Consultants.

The lamina in some areas, the report said, is about one to two millimeters thinner than it should be and some decorative elements do not have lamina encasing the foam, the analysis said.

Parts of the exterior do not meet manufacturer's guidelines, as required by code, the report said. While those issues might affect the durability of the exterior materials, they didn't contribute to the fire's spread.

In a statement, Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Mirage Corp., said company officials are looking into the report's findings.

"Per the county's direction we will engage a certified analyst to further examine the materials in question. We will submit any recommendations to the county to discuss mitigation, if necessary. The Monte Carlo was built 16 years ago by a previous owner, so we may be able to take advantage of new construction techniques that were unavailable in 1992," according to the statement.

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