LAS VEGAS — A fire on the roof of the 32-story Monte Carlo hotel-casino forced guests and gamblers to flee and sent flaming debris raining down, but the blaze eased after about an hour and no serious injuries were reported.
The mid-morning fire quickly spread across the rooftop facade, made of a foam building material. Orange flames lapped at the hotel’s name, which is written in large script.
Clark County spokesman Eric Pappa said county officials were told welders were working on the roof of the building before the fire.
“As we go out of the danger zone, we’ll methodically check each floor,” Clark County Fire Chief Steve Smith said in declaring the fire contained. “No rooms are burning.”
Five people were hospitalized, including four who reported difficulty breathing and one with an unspecified minor injury, said John Wilson, general manager of ambulance companies American Medical Response and Medic West.
“All of them were as a result of the evacuation,” Wilson said, “not because of the fire itself.”
Officials went door-to-door evacuating the hotel, said Gordon Absher, a spokesman for the resort’s owner, MGM Mirage Inc.
Larry Wappel, 25, of San Pierre, Ind., said he and his brother, Eric Wappel, were in a room on the 30th floor when they heard housekeeping staff banging on doors and yelling “Fire, get out!” He said it took about 10 minutes to walk single-file down the stairs to get to ground level.
“There were a couple of ladies crying, but it was pretty calm,” he said.
Guests were taken to the MGM Grand Garden Arena and employees were evacuated to the adjacent New York-New York hotel, Absher said.
The Monte Carlo Resort &Casino has 3,002 guest rooms and 211 suites. The resort opened in June 1996.
The Monte Carlo is down the street from the scene of Nevada’s deadliest fire, a Nov. 21, 1980, blaze that killed 87 people at the old MGM Grand hotel and led to strict fire codes in Las Vegas resorts.