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Workers’ torch started casino fire

Feb. 1, 2008 Las Vegas - A fire at the Monte Carlo casino-hotel was caused by flying molten metal from a hand-held cutting torch used by workers who did not have proper permits, fire officials said Thursday.

February 1, 2008
By By Ryan Nakashima The Associated Press

Workers were cutting corrugated steel to set up window-washing equipment at the casino on the Las Vegas strip but did not use proper mats to protect the roof, the Clark County Fire Department said.
The first
9-1-1 call came from a passer-by.If the contracting company, Union Erectors LLC, had applied for a permit, it would have been advised how to perform the work safely and likely been approved in four to five weeks, said Deputy Fire Chief Girard Page.
Officials are reviewing whether to cite the contractor, which could result in fines of $1,000 and up to six months in jail per citation.
The melted steel started a fire on the southwest corner of the main facade of the roof of the 3,000-room, 32-story hotel-casino on Jan. 25.
The flames spread quickly as they devoured a foam-like material on the facade. Thousands of guests and employees evacuated but no serious injuries were reported. The fire was contained by about 120 fire personnel more than an hour after it began.Construction workers using four hand-held extinguishers failed to put the blaze out, fire officials said.