There’s lots of interesting stories about casinos, but some of the biggest stories are about the disasters that have befallen casinos around the world.
In this article we take a look at some of the massive fires that have brought casinos to the ground.
The Meadows Hotel and Casino: 1931
This Las Vegas hotel burned down – primarily because the Las Vegas Fire Department ignored the alarm as the casino was outside the official city limits.
El Rancho: 1960
This Las Vegas casino and hotel was burnt to the ground – entertainers Pearl Bailey and Betty Grable had to abandon their performance mid-show.
Sahara hotel and casino: 1964
The fire started on the room and caused over $1million in damage. Investigations pinpointed the cause of the fire as a spark from a welder who was installing a new air-conditioning unit.
MGM Grand: 1980
One of the biggest fires in casino history was the fire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was November 1980 when 87 people lost their life – most of them killed as a result of smoke-inhalation. When the fire broke out there were approximately 5,000 in the hotel and casino complex – it was early morning, the fire apparently starting in one of the restaurants in the complex. In a dramatic rescue, around 1,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from the roof of the hotel. As a result of this tragedy, installation of smoke detectors and fire sprinklers became standard practice.
Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino: 1981
In February 1981, the resort that was then known as the Las Vegas Hilton suffered an arson attack that led to a major fire at the property. Eight people died in the fire. An arrest was made and the arsonist – Philip Bruce Cline – was sentenced to eight life sentences. Cline had been working at the casino as a bus-boy and started the fire by lighting a lobby curtain with a marijuana cigarette.
Palace Station: 1998
This Las Vegas casino burst into flames as the result of a direct lightning strike during a torrential thunderstorm.
Las Vegas Hilton Hotel: 1998
No one was injured by the casino had to be evacuated and the property suffered over $1million in damages.
Aladdin Hotel: 2003
A cigarette in a laundry chute was apparently the cause of this fire which injured six people in the property.
Moulin Rouge hotel and casino: 2003
This historic Las Vegas casino was burnt to the ground following an arson attack.
Aztec Inn: 2005
Over $200,000 in damage was suffered by the Aztec Inn. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire remains unknown.
Monte Carlo casino and hotel: 2008
This fire injured 17 people, primarily from smoke-inhalation. The fire resulted the casino being closed for three weeks. Investigations revealed that the cause of the fire was sparks from metal welding that was being carried out on the premises.
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