Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Monte Carlo Fire

Photo by Matt Toplikar / Las Vegas Sun

Same Day Coverage

The wispy column of smoke rising from the roof of the gleaming-white Monte Carlo hotel triggered an anxiety rush across Las Vegas that winter morning. As the smoke thickened, old-timers harked back to other hotel fires, including the one in 1980 that killed 87 people and injured 700 others at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

So the Jan. 25, 2008, fire at Monte Carlo would prove to be something of a test: How quickly and safely would the hotel’s 3,002 guest rooms be evacuated? How fast could the Fire Department respond and mount a rooftop attack on the flames? Were local hospitals and the UMC burn center ready to treat victims? Would the day end in calamity or in calm?

Here is the Las Vegas Sun’s coverage of the day’s events — as they unfolded minute-by-minute and were published on the newspaper’s website, and in a narrative recap for the next day’s newspaper, from insiders’ points of view, that showed how the hotel, its guests, and emergency services agencies across the valley responded to the fire.

Archive highlights

From the inside: How they coped

Sat, Jan 26, 2008

There’s plenty of excitement in the air at Monte Carlo on Friday morning, its lobby filled with people arriving for a great weekend on the Strip. George Thorogood is at ...

All stories

MGM Grand, Hilton fires led to improved safety codes

Wed, Nov 21, 2012

After 85 people died as a result of the MGM Grand fire in November 1980 and eight perished in an arson less than three months later at the Las Vegas ...

Transformer explosion behind Monte Carlo disrupts early morning I-15 traffic

Sun, May 15, 2011

A transformer exploded and shot flames high into the dark sky early Sunday morning behind the Monte Carlo casino on the Las Vegas Strip , leading authorities to close Interstate ...

Woman files suit over 2008 fire at Monte Carlo

Fri, Jan 15, 2010

A Florida woman who was staying at the Monte Carlo when a fire broke out in January 2008 is suing the resort for damages, according to a lawsuit filed in ...

Frank Caliendo: Who will you hear?

Thu, Oct 8, 2009

Beginning Monday, impressionist Frank Caliendo will try to help fill the comic void on the Strip left by the passing of Danny Gans.

Monte Carlo shows off new boutique-style HOTEL32

Wed, Aug 19, 2009

After more than 18 months, the Monte Carlo can finally close the book on its January 2008 fire with the opening of the once water-damaged 32nd floor. The hotel-casino showed ...

On appeal, OSHA loses most of Monte Carlo fire case

Tue, Dec 30, 2008

The construction company cited by the state for worker safety violations in connection with the January fire atop the Monte Carlo was largely cleared of responsibility in an appeal decision ...

Report: Wrong kind of resin helped Monte Carlo fire spread

Fri, Aug 29, 2008

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 ...

Safety in Nevada gets short shift

Tue, Apr 1, 2008

Am I the only one who thinks the companies and the regulatory agencies are more concerned with rising insurance rates than they are with human life?

Official: Foam’s OK, despite fire

Sun, Feb 3, 2008

For all the attention that has been heaped on the foam that burned in the Monte Carlo fire Jan. 25, the hotel could be rebuilt today using essentially the same ...

Heroes from MGM’s fire aren’t forgotten

Tue, Jan 29, 2008

For many of us who lived in Las Vegas in 1980, the sight of the Monte Carlo fire on Friday brought back memories of the MGM fire on Nov. 21, ...

Why can’t choppers help put out fires?

Mon, Jan 28, 2008

Why doesn’t the fire department have a standby helicopter loaded with fire suppressing materials?

The band played on

Fri, Jan 25, 2008

Life in Las Vegas kept going on the Las Vegas Strip today -- even as flames shot out of the top floors of the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino.

More about the Monte Carlo

Fri, Jan 25, 2008

Here are some facts and historical information about The Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, which was damaged in a three-alarm fire on Friday, Jan. 25, 2008.


Monte Carlo Burns
Monte Carlo Burns
Smoke engulfs the Las Vegas skyline as the Monte Carlo burned for about an hour ...
Fire at the Monte Carlo
Fire at the Monte Carlo
Clark County Fire Chief Steve Smith answers questions about the Monte Carlo fire and guests ...
Business as usual
Business as usual
A mid-morning fire at the Monte Carlo did little to disrupt life on the Las ...
Monte Carlo's First Look
Monte Carlo's First Look
It looks like any other Las Vegas Strip casino, sans one significant aspect — the ...
Face to Face: Construction shortcuts
Face to Face: Construction shortcuts
The man who blew the whistle on Harrah's Entertainment for construction shortcuts voices his concerns ...


Monte Carlo Fire
A fire broke out in the upper floors of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino ...
Hotel fires through history
The Las Vegas Strip has endured a long history of casino fires going all the ...