Monte Carlo Closed, Workers Begin Repairs - 8 News NOW

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Monte Carlo Closed, Workers Begin Repairs

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Submitted by viewer Vali. Submitted by viewer Vali.
Submitted by viewer Vali. Submitted by viewer Vali.

Hundreds of contract workers are trying to clean up and repair fire damage to the Monte Carlo casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

The work effort comes after a Friday blaze on exterior foam-based sculpting that caused employees and guests in some 2,400 occupied rooms to be evacuated.

Operator MGM Mirage Inc. says it is still not clear when the 3,000-room casino-hotel will reopen for business.

Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin says fire officials are still waiting for the company to remove or secure the burned exterior facade along the roof to prevent debris from falling down.

Monte Carlo workers who are not involved in the cleanup are being paid in full during the lull but are being asked to call a hotline to determine their work schedule.

Guests staying on the 26th floor and below were allowed back into the hotel on Friday night and Saturday morning to retrieve their belongs. Guests staying in the 26th floor and above were not allowed to go to their rooms until Saturday afternoon after inspectors deemed it safe. By late Sunday afternoon, all but 100 rooms had been emptied of personal items. MGM/Mirage officials say they will now begin shipping items left behind to guests at their homes.

SLIDESHOW: See Photos of the Monte Carlo Fire

Clark County Fire Department Chief Steve Smith said the exterior fire was contained to the facade, while other damage is water or firefighting-related.

There was a building permit for work on the roof, to install a window washing system, but no one knows if that work was underway.

PHOTOS: Send Us Your Pictures of the Fire

Tourists stared up in the sky as fire raged on the roof of the Monte Carlo Hotel on the Strip. Flames danced and black smoke billowed from the 3,000 room resort. Hotel maids on the top floors ran from door to door telling guests to get out.

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Most of the hotel guests Eyewitness News talked with say they heard a fire alarm going off inside the Monte Carlo but ignored it. It wasn't until they got a knock on their door or turned on the televison that they realized they needed to get out.

"High rise fires are never easy to fight and as you can with it being outside, our firefighters actually had to hang out the windows, try to cut the fire off, directing our fire streams at an angle so to make contact with the fire so it wasn't an easy fire at all," said Fire Chief Steve Smith.

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The fire started around 11 a.m. at the Las Vegas Strip hotel which is near Tropicana. The fire, which was burning along the top floor, sent black plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

The hotel was at 97-percent occupancy. Any guest scheduled to stay at the hotel Friday night was asked to report to the MGM Grand Garden.

MGM Mirage Sr. Vice President Releases Statement on Fire

Clark County Fire Department is reporting there are no known injuries and that the fire which occurred at the top of the west and south wings was contained to the exterior of the building.

It took close to one hour for crews to get the fire under control. As of Saturday, there was still no determined cause. Five guests and eight engineers suffered from smoke inhalation and by Saturday afternoon, all but one had been released from the hospital.

"The largest hotels in the world are along this resort corridor. To say that you practice a fire, you don't really practice a fire except for when it happens, you have the training, you understand what you have to do to contain it and that is what we have done today," said Chief Smith.

Read a statement from Monte Carlo COO concerning employee pay and benefits

Employee Hotline (to find out if they go to work tomorrow): 693-7005

Guest Hotline (to find out more information): 891-4411

Lance Burton: Master Magician shows are canceled through Wednesday. Ticket refunds or exchanges for new dates can be made at the place where the tickets were purchased. All tickets purchased at the Monte Carlo or MGM Mirage properties will automatically be credited. The Monte Carlo/Lance Burton ticket link is (702)730-7160.

The MGM Mirage owns the hotel/casino. The 32-story Monte Carlo is a 3,000 room resort which opened in 1996.

Other Las Vegas Hotel Fires:

1980 - The MGM Grand Hotel burns and kills 87 people who were in hotel rooms and the casino. That deadly fire resulted in tougher fire codes for hotels. It inspires new laws to be adopted in 1981.

1981 - A fire at the Las Vegas Hilton kills eight people. The arson fire was started by a worker.

1998 - A fire at the Las Vegas Hilton causes $1 million in damage but no deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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