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July 31, 2014

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After fire, county orders owner to raze vacant Key Largo casino

Image

Christopher DeVargas

Firefighters battle a blaze at the abandoned Key Largo Casino on East Flamingo Road and Paradise Road in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 28, 2013

Key Largo Casino Fire

Clark County and City of Las Vegas firefighters battle a four-alarm fire at the old Key Largo Casino on Flamingo Avenue and Paradise Road Thursday, March 28, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Former Key Largo Casino

Clark County has ordered the vacant Key Largo casino near the Las Vegas Strip, which was gutted Thursday by a fire, be demolished by the end of April.

The abatement order, which was issued by Clark County Building Official Ron Lynn on Friday afternoon, places several requirements on the property’s owner, Flamingo 2005 LLC, including that the building be demolished by April 26.

The Thursday afternoon blaze caused $4.5 million to the building, located at 377 Flamingo Road, which has been abandoned since 2007.

It will likely be a week before an official cause of the fire is determined, deputy fire chief Erik Newman said. Fire investigators are working with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine what started the blaze, Newman said, but the initial investigation shows two fires originating separately at the north and south ends of the building,

Severe damage including a collapsed roof on the northern side of the building, which used to house the casino floor, are slowing investigators' efforts, Newman said.

There are indications that people had sought shelter in the vacant building, but none seemed to be present at the time of the fire and no civilians were injured, he said.

The Key Largo closed in 2005 to make room for a proposed condominium tower that never came to fruition.

Clark County Building Official Ron Lynn said that the building, which was constructed in 1974, appears to be a total loss. The roof has collapsed in many portions of the building, with the most severe damage along the western side.

“I don’t think there’s anything to save,” he said.

The abatement order requires the north wall of the casino be stabilized or removed by April 19.

A plan will have to be developed over the next several weeks to remove asbestos from the site before larger-scale demolition can begin, Lynn said.

On Friday, workers were working to secure the perimeter fence around the property and to secure cladding from a scorched sign that was in danger of falling into the nearby sidewalk.

If the owner refuses to comply with the demolition order, the building could be declared a public nuisance, allowing the county to demolish the building itself and charge the costs to the owner.

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  1. The county might as well tear it down now. The owner will never do anything on this site.